A Torch of Hope

When Dora’s son damaged his leg in a terrible accident, it was her soap-making business that saved him from amputation

Providing a better life for her family was Dora’s motivation when she took out a small loan to set up a soap-making business. Never was this reward felt more than the time her son suffered an accident. “During my third loan cycle, my son Kofi injured his leg, and we were told it would have to be amputated,” says Dora.

At the time, Dora was producing 2,000 bars of soap every week, and making a profit. “Because of my profit and savings, I was able to pay for a specialist doctor, and Kofi didn’t have to have his leg amputated after all.”

Being able to pay for good-quality healthcare is a luxury many Ghanaians can’t afford. But thanks to his mother’s successful business, Kofi is able to walk – and is even back at school preparing for his exams.

Dora, from Ghana, is married to Michael, and has five children. Before World Vision came to her community, she was struggling to support her family. Other organizations had pledged to help the neighborhood, but most left without making much of an impact. “We’ve been visited by many other organizations promising support. But the promises were rarely kept,” says Dora. “However, I still gave my name to World Vision and signed up for skills training in soap-making, but I didn’t expect anything to happen. However, soon after World Vision entered our community, we began to see changes. We received healthcare, and we had school buildings put up for the community. For us, this lit a torch of hope.”

TRAINING HARD

Next came the training. “I worked hard and used my new skills to build my livelihood, so more good things would follow,” says Dora.

But then she encountered a problem: lack of access to credit. “It wasn’t easy to find funds to invest in any business venture,” she says. Enter VisionFund – World Vision’s microfinance arm. They brought together 19 women and four men to form a community bank group: “We received training on finance, and had our first loan disbursed to us. I borrowed 500 Ghana Cedes ($250) to invest in my business. It was a moment of joy,” Dora explains.

The loan kick-started the business: “I now produce 100 bottles of liquid soap, 200 bottles of parazone and 2,000 soap bars a week, which I sell at the market,” she says. “And I’ve also created employment for others.”

“I continue to work hard to make more money, and help my family realize their dreams. Looking back, how could this have been possible if World Vision and VisionFund had not kept their promises?”

To learn more about World Vision’s microfinance work through its network of more than 30 microfinance institutions at VisionFund, please visit: www.VisionFund.org.

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