Joy2theWorld is a one year-old non-profit microcredit provider to parts of Ghana, West Africa, founded by Kathleen Gibbs, who was inspired to create the organization through her participation in Landmark Education’s programs. According to a recent release, Joy2theWorld is significantly expanding its microcredit loans to the businesswomen in several villages comprising approximately 10,000 people in rural Medie, Ghana, when the organization returns to Ghana later this year. Furthermore, Joy2theWorld will be undertaking a wide variety of other projects to positively impact the quality of life for residents.
In its previous visits to Ghana, Joy2theWorld has provided microloans to 66 women in the area (Medie and the surrounding villages). According to Gibbs, it is the group’s goal to provide loans to at least 200 women by the end of the year. This fiancial support will allow the women to grow their businesses, which in turn will impact the economy in these villages. The program will empower the womens’ self-esteem, leadership and creativity, as well as significantly benefiting their children.
Additionally, the program is being supported by international students from SIFE-IPS, of the Institute of Professional Studies in Ghana, to help mentor the women in their businesses. The mentors will instruct the women will include cost control, ethical business practices, customer care, basic bookkeeping and business planning. Gibbs feels strongly that this will maximize the long term benefits of the program..
Beyond these microloans, Joy2theWorld is rolling out other anti-poverty, quality of life initiatives. For instance, John Wade, an Environmental Engineer who is taking Landmark Education’s Team Management and Leadership Program, is leading a team to install a playground for children at a school in Medie. Wade is also introducing solar panels at this school to determine if the use of solar power to generate electricity and refrigeration would be benefit this community. Gibbs notes that it’s important to introduce this kind of change gradually to make sure that the residents welcome it.
Clean water for the community will be provided via another project that Wade is pioneering: He is managing a team to build a solar powered well in Medie. This is a pioneer project, and if successful, Wade will come back to dig more wells. Finally, Wade is also preparing to introduce residents to efficient, wood burning stoves that will use 50-75% less wood than regular fires, which will help prevent deforestation. The stoves will also provide an economic benefit as people are trained to build and sell them.
Gibbs sees the training that she, Wade, and Kay Farjadi (a key Joy2theWorld partner) have received through Landmark Education’s programs in leadership and team building to have been essential to providing the communication necessary to have all these goals fulfilled in partnership with the community. She also thanks the WomensTrust microload organization for handling all the group’s communications, such as emails and international phone calls.
Fajardi also plays a critical role in Joy2theWorld as the organization’s Head of Fundraising. The organization intends to raise funds well beyond its current resources, both to increase the microloans and to finance initiatives such as clean water, scholarships for the children and a future medical clinic.
The Joy2theWorld team is returning to Ghana this August, 2008–Their equipment has already been shipped out.
For more information on how Joy2theWorld was initially created, read Landmark Education News’ first story about the organization, or go to http://joy2theworld.org to get more information or contribute. To get directly involved in other ways, contact Kathleen Gibbs at [email protected].