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Brief History of ZOVFA

ZOVFA’s partnership with African Initiatives (AI) dates back to 1994 when we discovered one another in Tamale. I was then working for the Christian Council of Ghana and based in Tamale. Mike had come over to explore for new Partners to work with as he had resigned from Village Aid, the Organisation he worked for at the time. Mike was at the time also just setting up AI. We discussed our ideas together and realised that AI and ZOVFA had similar visions, missions, goals and therefore much in common. We decided to enter into formal partnership but that did not entail financial commitments on the part of AI; as she did not have any funding available at the time. As Mike kept to his twice a year visit to review project applications that ZOVFA had sent to AI, we eventually got the first project of ZOVFA funded by AI. This was an environmental education project focusing on Tree-growing in communities. The funding was by Tree Aid, a Bristol-based UK Charity. From that point in time all the way up to when AI saw a need to wean off ZOVFA, we agreed that our partnership was going to be managed on the following principles:

Honesty, Transparency & Accountability to one another and to the communities

Operating on the basis of efficient & effective use of resources, value for money and guiding against needless waste of resources

Community Ownership: Community involvement and contribution to planning, implementation..

Confidence: Knowing what ZOVFA and AI stand for, where they want to go and how they want to get there and articulating it

Open Communication between ourselves and the Funding Agencies for the Projects that we implement

Striving to work directly without Country Offices as a way of cutting down on costs

Who we Are

ZOVFA has over two decades experience working in the area of facilitating various community initiatives and grassroots mobilisation in Northern Ghana. We focus on building the capacity of farmers on sustainable organic/ecological farming practices and supporting them with various kinds of farm inputs for their agricultural activities. We also support Agro-processing Initiatives, facilitate market linkages and share market information among various organised Primary Producers and Processing Enterprise Groups. The Association also facilitates the transformation of Producer Groups into Registered Cooperatives to give them the necessary legal backing and existence to be able to engage meaningfully in Policy Dialogues with the Relevant Authorities on trade related issues at the District and Regional levels.

The Association is currently facilitating the formation of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) who meet once every week mainly for the purpose of doing individual savings as members of one group. The Scheme is a well tested methodology which provides for a financial coping mechanism for rural women and men as well as maintaining greater group cohesion among Association members. ZOVFA in this endeavour, has facilitated the establishment of over Three Hundred (300) Village Savings & Loans Associations in the Eastern Corridor of the Upper East Region of Ghana over the last four (4) years. But there is still an un-met demand from many up & coming groups for us to support them get started. The VSLA is a Scheme designed to Promote Financial Independence and Poverty Reduction by promoting the culture of Savings among rural smallholder farming groups who are mostly women.

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Meet the Team

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Vice President

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Founder & CEO

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Janice Ross

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