Twee jaar werken op het project NFD (Northern Friends for Development) in Ghana zijn voorbij............................... De mensen hier zeggen tegen ons: 'You have done your part!'
We hebben onze doelen gehaald: - We hebben NFD meer fundament kunnen geven (o.a. door het realiseren van een microfinancierings-deskundige); - We hebben boss Hawa en teacher Paul een management-opleiding kunnen bieden; - We hebben de sponsorgelden uit Nederland veilig gesteld, d.m.v. een MOU (Memorandum of Understanding), waarin rechten en plichten staan vermeld; - We hebben een trainingscentrum kunnen bouwen voor kansarme meisjes (3 containers op een marktplaats: weef en naai-department en een kappersafdeling); - We hebben 13 meiden middels microkredieten kunnen helpen aan hun eigen business/hun eigen shop. 4 weaving-girls, 4 sewing-girls en 5 hairdressing-girls zijn gestart in hun houten kiosk. Op bijgaande foto staan de 13 'lucky ones!'
Ook onze persoonlijke doelen zijn gehaald: - We hebben een verblijfsvergunning/werkvergunning (we hoeven nu nooit meer een visum aan te vragen en kunnen altijd onbeperkt Ghana in-en uitreizen). - We gaan verhuizen in Tamale (ongeveer 7 km. verderop. 2 jaar wonen op een 'sharing compound' is genoeg. Hoewel we een hele mooie tijd hebben gehad en het gezin van de huisbaas erg aardig is, lijkt het ons ook wel weer eens fijn om iets meer privacy te hebben); - We krijgen een andere baan: Senior-volunteer voor onze uitzendorganisatie NorGhaVo (Northern Ghana Volunteers). Fungeren als intermediair/schakel tussen NorGhaVo Ghana en NorGhaVo Nederland.
Kortom: Een nieuwe uitdaging!
Overigens: We stoppen met onze maandelijkse nieuwsbrieven. Het laatste exemplaar is nieuwsbrief 24 / Juli 2008.
Warme groet, Ben en Dees
Bovenstaand: De dertien jonge onderneemsters met Ben en Dees op de foto.
Evaluation NFD June 2008 by Ben and Desirée
Because our period of 2 years at our NFD-project will be finished in August 2008, this will be the last evaluation. Since our start in August 2006, we have written each 3 months an evaluation.
Establishing 13 own shops (wooden kiosks)
We arranged several meetings and we invited all the parents/caretakers of the girls; teacher Paul from NFD; mister Ishmel the microfinance professional; mister Jacco our landlord and Peter, Musah and Alex from the staff of our organization NorGhaVo (Northern Ghana Volunteers). Of course we invited also director Hawa, but she was always absent (Accra).
We arranged a committee 'wooden kiosks' and this consists of: teacher Paul, the father of one NFD-girl, an uncle of one NFD-girl and Steven (carpenter and brother of our landlord).
The aim of the meetings was to ask for cooperation. So far there was no commitment from the parents/caretakers. Everything was for free: Education-attachment and containers at Kukuomarket. This was the moment to ask their cooperation and to ask even their labour. We had compared the estimates of 3 carpenters and they were all too expensive. The message was: 'When you work for free, we can save 650 GHc of workmanship'. We explained that it was not only the costs of the wooden kiosk, we also had to buy the materials for the girls, for example sewing machines, weaving equipement and hairdressing materials. Especially the weaving department is very costly. We checked the locations where the girls want to establish themselves. Is it a legal place? Are there enough customers? We agreed that the parents/caretakers arranged labour/carpenters and that we bought the materials.
Important items: Did the parents/caretakers succeed in finding a carpenter who wanted to work for free? Who didn't succeed in finding a carpenter, but was willing to pay for the labour? Who had no results at all? We explained that if they didn't have a carpenter or if they didn't pay for labour, then there would not be a wooden kiosk, but an open paviljon. We discussed the monitoring of the process of building the kiosks. We also explained the repayment of the loans (kiosk, materials, bike, furniture). The result was great: Everybody succeeded in finding a carpenter who was willing to work for free for us. That meant that the parents/caretakers gave the carpenters a small amount of money. An open paviljon was not an option for nor the caretakers nor the girls. So it became a wooden kiosk of 8 by 8 ft. And the price was about 300 GHc (about 200 Euro). Due to the sponsors in the Netherlands we were able to realize 13 wooden kiosks.
Building the wooden kiosks consists of 3 steps: - Buying wood at Timbamarket and arranging the transport. - Monitoring the process in the community of the girl - Buying the materials for in the shop.
The kiosk is excluded veranda, excluded painting and excluded locks. That was too expensive. The wooden kiosks had to be put on blocks. During the process, they increased several times the prices of the wood (due to the rainy season) or the zinc roof. Sometimes there was a lack of nails or whatever. As a carpenter, Steven realized the furniture for the shops: 13 benches, 13 stools, 4 tables (sewing) and 8 boxes (weaving).
Due to the repayment, mister Ishmel will monitor this issue. NFD teacher Paul will help mister.Ishmel, because Paul knows the girls very well. Due to the fact that Paul is one of the members of the community where these NFD girls live, it is not advisable that Paul is actually in charge of collecting the money. If that should happen, Paul's role is not pure/clear anymore. The loans of the girls consists of 4 parts: - Wooden kiosk (included transport) - Materials - Bike (minus own contribution) - Furniture
A hairdressing-girl has to pay back about 450 GHc; a sewing girl about 525 GHc and a weaving-girl about 700 GHc. All these repayments will be used for the micro-finance for the NFD girls from step 1. In this way the established girls will help the future NFD girls who want to start their own kiosk by micro-finance too. At that moment the micro-finance circle is closed.
It is also very important that these 13 girls have a coach to help them during the period that they start their own business. It is clear that director Hawa is not the person who can give this assistance. So NFD needs someone who can do this work properly and in a professional way. We believe that mister Paul in cooperation with mister Ishmel can play an important role due to this issue.