The Talented Women's Club
The Talented Women´s Club is a microcredit organization of some 45 women from two small towns in southern Ghana. The group has been functioning as a loan institution since 2002 and received Republic of Ghana NGO status in 2007.
Most of these women grew up in poor peasant families and had to leave school at a young age to help work in the fields or to sell at the market. They are highly motivated to improve their situation and are especially concerned that their children get an education. They see this as a way out of poverty and much of the profit they make goes into paying school fees. They want to give their children opportunities they never had.
The Talented Women's Club is organized democratically and all members participate in decision making about microcredit loans and projects. Funds are prioritized in terms of needs and concrete proposals. The Talented Women's Club’s microcredit funds are owned collectively and when loans are paid back with interest, the fund grows. The two groups meet every Sunday afternoon and make decisions on interest rates, projects, and the welfare fund that they established the first year of the project. Many of the women have developed their businesses so well that they now have savings accounts at a nearby bank.
Some meetings include English and bookkeeping classes. The illiterate members receive extra help. Guests are invited to speak on issues of women’s health. And, inspired by talks on healthy life style, they sometime jog or play football. Both very unusual activities for middle aged women in Ghana!