Joseph Brenyah Hi Joseph thanks for this comment. Totally agree about financial sustainability, which is why every year 40% of the profits are set aside to continue the gardens, and why village savings groups are established at all schools. After the three years the gardens are totally self sustaining! As for active beneficiaries we hold meetings for everyone school, parents, pupils - and the beneficiaries decide how all profits are spent between themselves.
Dear Victoria, Thanks for the feedback! Our financial sustainability really has two distinct aspects:
1. The Garden - the garden is financial sustained from the 40% of the previous years harvest dividends. Parents are given planning training, and are advised to set aside funds for certain inputs for the following harvest including: high quality seeds, tractors, tools or any other equipment. Our training covers low cost organic pesticides and fertilisers, and seed multiplication to ensure these costs are kept low. However, high quality seeds make a huge difference to crop productivity.
2. The parents - The other way this programme provides financial sustainability is with the parents and the savings group itself. All parents have now been signed up to a bank account, and they manage and contribute to their own savings through mobile money. This means they don't need to travel into trade centres to access financial services, but can do it from their village. Every month a bank representative visits the groups to ensure everything is running smoothly - so our involvement is no longer needed after the programme ends. Additionally, the loan interest provided through this model is actually lower than it was in the original groups.
Let us know if there's any other aspects you would be interested in hearing more about.