WOFAN-ICON2 Project has commenced its financial inclusion support for people living with disability (PWDs) with a start-off grant of 1.8 million Naira to 180 PWDs in Dorawar Sallau, Garun Mallam LGA of Kano State as a pilot.
The 180 PWDs were mobilized and supported by the ICON2 Project which means Integrated Community Lead Network of Hope Project to form six groups of 30 members each. The six groups including individual members were further supported to open accounts in UBA, the Project’s financial services partner. The accounts have opened opportunities for the PWDs to have access to banking services as they have started saving their monthly contributions in the accounts.
In order to further enhance their access to financial services through access to small loans for their respective agricultural businesses, WOFAN partnered with UBA to support each of the six groups formed with a start-up fund of N300,000.00 from the WOFAN Credit and Equipment Revolving Scheme to enable the groups join the credit revolving scheme.
In addition to the start-up funds, 20 members of the groups also got special needs tricycles to allow them meet their daily obligationsvin dignity and with ease. . Speaking after the official transfer of the start-up funds into the group accounts and handover of special needs tricycles to the PWD groups, Hajia Khadija Abdulsalam expressed gratitude to the WOFAN ICON2 Project for what she described as ‘full empowerment’.
“This is full empowerment”, Hajia Khadija enthused. She said, “As farmers and agricultural business entrepreneurs, the Project has supported us with training and inputs. Now they have given us money as groups so that we can borrow without stress to improve our businesses. They have also given some of us keke (special needs tricycles) to improve mobility so that we can look for our daily bread with less stress. This is unprecedented and we are very grateful to WOFAN and Mastercard Foundation. May Allah reward them with His mercy and favors, aamin.”
Speaking earlier, the Country Program Director of the ICON2 Project and Founder of the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), Hajia Salamatu Garba had explained that the financial inclusion feature of the project is just an aspect of the Project’s determination to promote inclusion and equity, noting that PWDs are at the bottom of the ladder of vulnerability amongst the most vulnerable in the society.
Hajia Salamatu noted that the Project is partnering with UBA to disburse the star-up fund, stressing that the bank will monitor disbursement of funds to members by the groups and also provide technical assistance in ensuring that there is zero default.
The WOFAN ICON 2 project is funded by the Mastercard Foundation to support 675,000 youths, across nine Nigerian states, over a 5-year period to develop and maintain sustainable livelihoods and have an improved quality of life, in line with the Mastercard Foundation’s bold Young Africa Works-Nigeria (2021-2030) strategy to enable 10 million youth in Nigeria (including 7 million young women) to secure dignified and fulfilling employment. And to promote inclusion and equity, out of the 675,000 targeted youths, at least 12,750 will be people living with disability.