In Mehame, 18 women and 2 men have been trained and supported start a soap-making venture. They have also been supported to start maize farms.These activities are part of ICI’s strategy to eradicate poverty by supporting cocoa-farmers, whose children are at risk of child labour, to start income generating activities (IGA).

These beneficiaries have seen tremendous improvements in their lives since they engaged in the IGA. Alice Bonsu is part of the group in the Mehame community. She recounts her experience for us;

“The IGA has been of great benefit to me. We were trained in soap making in 2016 to produce soaps for sale as a group. We were also supported to start maize farms earlier this year.  We couldn’t plant all the maize seeds at once. We had to divide it and the other materials into two.  Most of us cultivated what was left in July. I just harvested six bags of maize from my farm which I am currently drying for sale. It will bring me an income of about GHC900.”

Through the income from this IGA, I provide for the needs of my children, support them in getting educational materials for school and provide other relevant housekeeping needs of the family.

One of my children, Augustine Bonsu, who completed the Senior High School this year, needed some money to top up his fees and get some materials for school in the first half of the year. By selling some of the maize I harvested, I was able to get him the money to do this. This enabled him to take part in the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). He was able to graduate with his friends.

I have come to see an increment in my income since I joined the IGA group and I aim to sustain these alternative economic activities. I have decided to invest the returns from the sale of the maize into the soap making business. I aim to gather the necessary chemicals and tools needed to start making my own soaps. This will be in addition to what we do as a group. I will also continue cultivating the maize.”