Hero Spotlight: Abu Rabo, Taking Opportunities, Seeing the Impact
November 16, 2016
People who are eager to learn and work just need the right information and opportunity in order to achieve great things. We provide hand-up solutions previously out of reach or unknown by people we serve. A small amount of support and hope provided in the right way can be transformational, launching a person and family into a life of security and stability that they themselves can sustain.
A case in point is the story of Abu Rabo. Abu is a caretaker for about 10 acres of land in Akwadum, Ghana, where he manages a fish pond, a palm plantation and some cassava plants. His income is a portion of profits that the landowner realizes from these enterprises and therefore is volatile. Because this income can often be nothing, the landowner allows him use of the land to grow his own vegetables for consumption and sale. An exceptionally hard-working man eager to increase his household income, Abu has become an active participant in both Just Hope’s savings groups and conservation agriculture trainings.
Peppers are among the crops he grows for himself, and he recently harvested a pepper crop using the methods he has learned through Just Hope that was 9 times the size of the pepper crop he grew at the same time using conventional methods. David Dyer described Abu’s reaction to this harvest as “pure joy” as he calculated the unbelievable difference in output from the two fields.
“He was so glad to have benefited from the training,” said David. “I was particularly intrigued because he took the time to measure what the yields were on the demo plot and his own conventional plot and ended up being convinced about the potential of these methods for his vegetable business.”
Abu’s participation in his savings group has been a source of great comfort and assistance, claiming it to be the “singular thing” that has helped him maintain his farm. In addition to having access to affordable loans, which are critical given the cash flow challenges naturally presented by farming, Abu loves the friendships he has made in his group, which they named “Peace and Love.” He describes his Friday morning meeting as a time when he can “blow off steam” by sharing concerns and worries with fellow farmers and villagers, with whom he gives and receives advice. Membership in his savings group has reassured him that he has options in case of emergency, a feeling that cannot be overrated in a place where the smallest crisis can mean financial disaster.
“Being part of [my savings] group gives me a sense of security,” Abu said. “Since I am not a government worker, this group and the savings we make is my own social security.”