Help me buy a dress
Juliana is a single mother. She lives in the village of Sumbrungu some 8 km from Bolga in the Upper East region of Ghana. Like 920 other single mothers she is member of the Single Mothers Association (SMA). This association endeavours to enhance the livelihoods of its members. It encourages Juliana and more than 400 other members to weave colourful baskets and Bolga hats to sell on the local market. This activity however, is not generating enough to make ends meet.
Juliana is eager to earn more, and to be financially independent. So she is looking for a more remunerating activity. Every day she goes to the association’s office with her baby on her back, to weave and to see if there are other opportunities. And … one day … hearing that the government is interested in local agricultural products, she comes up with the idea to parboil rice to sell to the government schools – and convinces 50 of her friends from the association to join her.
Hear them singing while they are cleaning the paddy! Look at the heap of pebbles and waste! Meanwhile water is set on the fire to boil. When it starts steaming, the women throw the cleaned paddy in the boiling water, still singing. And they still don't stop singing afterwards as they spread the paddy to dry. Although it is hard work, they don't mind. They are happy as this paddy, once sold, will help them to buy new dresses.
But Juliana is ambitious, she wants more than a new dress, she wants a whole new wardrobe and not only for herself! Cleaning paddy to remove pebbles and other waste is heavy and time-consuming work! So she negotiates with the rice producers association (RFC) in order to be supplied with clean paddy, even though she and the SMA now pays a higher price. But now Juliana and her friends from the SMA have more time to parboil and can easily process a larger quantity of rice! Juliana is becoming demanding, she wants more local rice, and good quality rice, with a low percentage...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document