Our ground-breaking Banking on Change project (BoC) funded by Barclays Bank (UK) is the biggest Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) project in Ghana, and we are leading the way in the economic empowerment sector with our years of expertise.
Kaka Latifa is a 16 year old Junior High School girl from the Volta Region of Ghana. Like most girls in her community, finance is a major issue completing junior and senior education. This situation often leads to some of the girls dropping out of school, and others getting pregnant in their bid to secure a source of income for their education.
“I was often sacked from school for not being able to pay my fees promptly and this affected my studies,” said Latifa.
“I mostly found myself filled with worry anytime school reopened. Sometimes, I boycotted school sessions because I didn’t want to be subjected to the shame of being sacked from class during lessons.”
However Latifa no longer has to boycott lessons because she can’t pay her school fees. She is now a regular student and is preparing enthusiastically toward her final examination. This is due to the Youth Village Savings and Loans systems introduced in her community by Plan International Ghana, in partnership with Care and Barclays.
“VSLA was not new to me, it had been in my village for 4 years now; but it was mostly for the adults,” she said.
“So I was very happy when the Plan International Field Officer informed the youth in the community that the project is now focusing on forming youth groups to empower us financially. I informed my parents and they promised to support me with my weekly savings. It was much easier for them to give me little amount of money on a weekly basis for my savings as compared to paying a bulk sum for my school fees.”
Latifa joined 2 Youth Savings and Loans groups, and this gave her access to a loan of GH₵270 ($90). She used this money to pay for her school fees and to buy her school uniform, books and bag.
“I am very grateful to Plan International Ghana, Care and Barclays for introducing this project. I will keep encourage all the youth, especially girls to be members of the VSLA, to help them save towards their educational needs and to avoid being school dropouts and becoming pregnant”.
Latifa says that with this intervention, she is going to further her education and become a doctor.
She has shared the YVSLA strategy with several girls in the community who have also joined the savings group in order to secure funds for their education.