cocoa life

Washing Away Poverty

The Ghanaian adage, Samina, Ahote Aduro (“soap, curing with cleanliness”) means something more to Patience Senadzu. In fact, soap has cured a lot in Patience’s life. It has become a major source of income for her family, freeing her from the worries that go along with being a cocoa farmer in Nkwankwanua, in the Sekyere East District of the Ashanti Region.

“When the cocoa season was over, my sleepless nights began,” she remembers. Then, she would be worried about how her husband and children would eat and whether the kids would be able to stay in school. That was, at least, until World Vision’s Cocoa Life project came to the community. Cocoa Life introduced new ways for cocoa farmers to earn a living. Patience chose to learn the skills needed to make soap. She is emphatic that she wants all her children to complete school well. That drive motivates her in the soap business.

She produces bar soaps, liquid soaps and the popular alata samina black shea butter soap. Patience had first become a member of Boafo Savings for Transformation group, after learning about it during training from World Vision. Group members contribute savings regularly, then share out the proceeds when they have amassed a good amount. She used her share-out profit to start a soap production business. Her business has steadily grown for a year, supplying private households and commercial businesses with her products.

She has been able to reach beyond her community and found buyers in other parts of the Ashanti Region. That leads to a tidy monthly profit. “Now, I contribute a lot to my children’s education. I buy them the text books and support their fees," she says.  “My husband is much happier and we decided together to buy World Vision’s household digni-loo latrine for ourselves.”

Eager to diversify her business, Patience has also started selling honey. The profit from that is enabling the family to buy inputs to help boost the productivity of their cocoa farm. Patience is so enthusiastic about her progress that she wants others to share it; she plans to train other young women in her community in how to make soap too in the future.

This programme was made possible through our partnership with Mondelez International.  Learn more about how World Vision partners with like-minded organizations across West Africa and see the impact working together is having here.