Things we take for granted. It was pouring down rain. Syambra and I began to sing “the sun will come out tomorrow…” . Then I began to explain to Haruna, our driver/friend, where the song came from.
“There is a story called “Little Orphan Annie” and it is about an orphan who was waiting to be adopted. Daddy Warbucks (a wealthy man) arrived at the orphanage to adopt Annie, but Ms. Hannigan who ran the orphanage did not want Annie adopted. She was mean and did everything she could to prevent Daddy Warbucks from adopting Annie.”
“But, why would she DO THAT? “ Haruna was completely caught up in the story about Little Orphan Annie…. !
Hello from Ghana! It is officially one month since I took early “retirement” to work in our Ghana Joy2theWorld office.
Moving my life to Ghana has been challenging but at the same time a lot of fun! When I arrived (with 5 suitcases and my cat) I told our women and staff that I was here “forever and ever, Amen!” Most cheered that I was now residing in Ghana, others wondered in disbelief.
This is really a dream come true for me, though a tad earlier than I had planned. I figured in about 3 years I would leave the “rat race” and continue our race to sustainability for our micro loan project. Then the dream to build a school for the children here became clearer.
Today marks one month and I am very happy to be in Ghana.
What I have observed since our beginnings (2007) is that our women have thriving businesses because they started the micro loan program. Some are now in our “Entrepreneur’s Club” with larger loans. These women are remarkable in that they are using their larger loans to build their businesses, buying more and better quality inventory, adding more equipment, hiring employees and some even getting important distribution licenses from corporate wholesalers in Accra.
New borrowers are arriving with the same dreams and energy to build their business too. They have watched the business model and believe. But as they come, they are faced with increasing costs (aren’t we all!).
We once started our loans in 2008 at 50 cedis (about $35) and now the loans start at 200 cedis (about $135). More competition in the market place means being thrifty in expenses and generous in quality.
Other good news is that Joy2theWorld moved into a larger building due to our growth! We now have 2 offices and a connecting conference room for training our women. Before women can secure a loan, they must attend a training class on how the loan program works. In addition, we hold business classes for women in bookkeeping and creating a business plan. Tonight we are holding our first class in our new digs.
Next…the changes in Ghana since 2007. How living in Ghana stacks up against living in the U.S.