BasicNeeds-Ghana, a mental health and development advocacy organisation, has handed over matched children’s savings accounts to 47 families in the Tamale Metropolis and Sagnarigu Municipality to ensure their access to funds to undertake various economic activities.
Each of the families made monthly deposits to the children’s savings accounts within a period of nine months, and the amount each family deposited monthly was matched with twice the amount to increase their savings.
This is to empower them economically to better take care of their children, especially the education of their girl children to prevent them from migrating to the southern part of the country in search of jobs which rarely exist.
This formed part of the ANZANSI Study project, which is being implemented by BasicNeeds-Ghana in collaboration with Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Department of Social Work, University of Ghana, and BIBIR-Ghana, with funding from the National Institutes of Health of the United States of America.
The ANZANSI Study project is a two-year initiative, which seeks to examine whether an innovative combination intervention could curtail the unaccompanied rural-to-urban migratory patterns and involvement in child labour among poverty-impacted Ghanaian female youth in Northern Region.
Mr. Kingsley Kumbelim, a Project Officer at BasicNeeds-Ghana, and Ghana Coordinator of the ANZANSI Study project, who handed over the matched children’s savings accounts to the families in Tamale, emphasised the need for them to put the money into productive ventures to yield profit to financially support their families and education of their girl children.
A key component of the project was a family-level economic empowerment intervention, aimed at creating and strengthening financial stability through the use of matched children’s savings accounts and microfinance in poor households.
Another component was the multiple family group intervention, which focused on addressing family functioning and parental beliefs around girls’ education, gender norms, and child labour.
Mr. Kumbelim said the project facilitated the opening of child savings accounts for families and added that families were required to make deposits monthly in their accounts, which in turn, was matched on a ratio of 1:2 for a period of nine months.
He said, “The project is being implemented across some beneficiary Junior High schools in the Tamale Metropolis and Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region, reaching out to 100 families comprising care-givers and their daughters within the ages of 11-14 years enrolled in school.”
He thanked the beneficiary families for their relentless efforts at seeing to it that the goal of the project was achieved.
The beneficiary families expressed gratitude to the project partners for the initiative and gave the assurance that they would invest their money into income generating activities to continue to make profits to take care of their families.
Madam Memunatu Fuseini, a Care-giver, who received her matched child savings account, said the project had introduced her to bank transactions, saying she would use her money to purchase a deep freezer to support her beverage business to earn more income.
Madam Sanatu Issah, also a Care-giver said through the project, she had learnt that it was not only big businesses that required banking services, adding, she would use her money realised under the project to expand her provision store.