A Voice for Forgotten Children

Mary Lassana

Mary  supported herself in Ghana with "petty trading" (materials for sewing), but was not able to meet the basic needs for her family. Mary could not get assistance from her parents, even though they live in the US. She said anytime she tries to reach her family via the telephone, an answering machine picks up the call or if she is fortunate enough to get them, the response was always an excuse as to why they could not help her. She then resolved not to call her parents again, but to face life without them, she shared through her tears.

Mary got in contact with Point Hope Ghana when her daughter, Eyram, (in Ewe, the name means “He has blessed me”) developed a hernia and needed surgery. Point Hope paid the health bills of Eyram until she had the surgery and recovered fully. After the operation, Mary asked for training so she could set up some small business to meet their needs. During interaction with the National Director of Point Hope Ghana, Jan Haynes, it was discovered that Mary had a little shop where she hoped to sell sewing materials; embroidery, school uniform materials, etc., but she did not have the needed capital to stock her little shop. Point Hope Ghana set up Mary's shop with the needed materials she could sell. An amount of 250 Ghana cedis ($177) was spent as initial capital to fill her shop with goods.

Before the end of the week, Mary was back in Accra buying goods to replenish what Point Hope had purchased for her. Since then, she goes to market twice a week to buy goods for the shop. The total cost of items at her shop now stands at GHc 700.00 ($496). She says she is able to make about GHc 80.00 ($56.70) during festive days and between GHc 20- GHc 40 ($14-$28) on ordinary days.
 
As to what keeps the business growing, Mary was quick to assert that it is her good relationship with her customers.

 Mary is grateful to Point Hope for restoring her joy again! She is able to make enough money to care for her daughter,  her sister and her sister's child. She is  happy and grateful to Point Hope for the assistance. She added that she is determined to expand the business, so she saves GHc 3.00 ($2.14) daily to increase her capital base. She adds happily that she pays her taxes to the government, (which not all businesses on the camp do presently). Shortly businesses who don’t pay taxes will be closed, so it is good that she is already in the practice.

POINT HOPE has given a helping hand up to Mary, who has founded a successful business and continues to thrive because of her own hard work and inner strength. If you would like to help support us in this effort to offer a helping hand up, not a hand out, please donate.