10 years ago, Fanny Atta-Peters was on the cusp of something big—something that would change her life, and the lives of thousands, forever.
As a native of Ghana, Fanny has long been aware of the challenges women in her society face—challenges like marginalization, exclusion, lack of access, and denied opportunity. Despite this, Fanny always saw great potential in herself and the women around her.
Driven by this passion to serve women as well as her faith in God, Fanny launched Hopeline Institute in 2007.
What began as a small group of women working together under the shade of a tree quickly grew to become a nation-wide institution. Today, Hopeline is a model Local Community Institution (LCI) and one of the fastest-growing in our global network. And this year, we are excited to celebrate their 10th anniversary!
Over the past 10 years, Fanny has made great progress in creating opportunity and leveling the playing field for women. Yet the challenges have been great, too.
Through her work at Hopeline, Fanny has found that women in Ghana—especially those in rural areas—are less likely to benefit from economic growth. They are also less likely to have access to medical services, clean water, education, and employment opportunities, while being more likely to experience poverty and malnourishment.
Additionally, there is a large prevalence of female-headed households in Ghana, yet women still have lower earning capacity and limited control over their spouses’ income. Societal attitudes towards women often deny them access to land, technology, training, and the credit they need to run their own businesses.
While 80% of Hopeline’s clients are women, they seek to serve all Ghanaians who face the hardship of poverty.
Ghana has experienced significant economic growth in the last decade, yet marginalized populations have not equally benefitted from these improvements. The gap is especially significant amongst people living in rural areas, with rural poverty rates in Ghana four times as high as urban poverty (UNICEF, 2016).
Because many of these challenges are rooted in economic injustice and exclusion, Hopeline focuses on promoting economic equity and empowerment.
Hopeline promotes economic empowerment through business training, mentoring, access to capital, and advocacy tools.
They also coordinate Village Savings and Loan Association groups (VSLAs)—which are primarily used to promote savings and meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Ghanaian society, including widows and orphans. The majority of the participants are located in rural areas and rely on the agricultural sector. Hopeline currently supports over 200 VSLA groups, with 25-30 people in each group.
While primarily facilitating savings, the VSLAs also provide valuable services like insurance, technical support, health education, and basic agribusiness training for farmers.
Another focus of Hopeline is serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The majority of job creation in Ghana takes place through SMEs, yet it is a sector that is underserved. By supporting SMEs through training and access to capital, Hopeline is investing in businesses that have great potential for growth and job creation.
Impacting Lives Through Partnership
In 2010, Hopeline connected with Partners Worldwide and a formal partnership was established.
Hopeline has utilized our SME business training curriculum to expand their reach and impact in this sector. We have also provided Hopeline with additional capital for their loan fund and connected them with volunteer mentors. These mentors offer prayer, guidance, technical assistance, and encouragement to Fanny and the other leaders of Hopeline, as well as the clients they serve.
Having these additional resources, knowledge, and financial support to draw from through our partnership, Fanny and her small team grew—dramatically increasing the number of people they were able to serve.
Adelaide Anaman is one of Hopeline’s many clients and is the owner of Addy’s Ventures, a natural health business.
Adelaide reports that attending Hopeline’s SME business training helped improve her business and management practices and taught her the importance of saving.
But even more than that, “Hopeline has helped shape my sense of calling,” she shares.
“I view my business as a mission in service of God and others and I actively pray for my clients. Hopeline gave me the ability to expand my business from the micro to the SME level, but also the the confidence to ‘go outside the box’ and pursue my dream.”
Since those days under the shade tree, Hopeline has blossomed into a strong local institution in Ghana. Last year they served over 14,000 people—creating much-needed opportunities for some of the most vulnerable in society.
As we celebrate their 10th anniversary, we look to the future filled with hope and anticipation of what God will continue to do through Fanny, Hopeline, and our partnership together.