|Leticia, soap maker|
Mrs. Leticia Appiah is a 34 year old farmer and soap maker who has lived and worked in Kenkuase community for 11 years. She chose to live in Kenkuase because her husband, a carpenter, lives and works there. She has had no formal education. She is a Christian and is married with three children.
Her main economic activity is soap making alongside maize, cassava, pepper and okro cultivation which she mostly engages in the dry season, as well as the year-round sale of cooked rice. On average she earns 300 euro monthly in the rainy season from her main economic activities while in the dry season, her average monthly earnings are about 250 euro.
Thanks to her farm, she has direct access to most of the foodstuffs requires as food for her family. Her three major monthly expenses are on food, school fees and health, and she manages to save about 7 euro per week.
Her house, like all houses in the village, has no electricity, and she uses fuelwood for cooking. Her family’s source of drinking water is a well because the community bore hole broke down.
Leticia was already into soap making when she joined the Microsfere microcredit scheme and registered to collect loans to support further her soap making activities. She has participated to two loan cycles and she is currently waiting for other members of her group who have not yet fully refunded to do so in order to enter into a new cycle.
She says that in her three years of collaboration with the Microsfere project, she has been able to secure equipment for her soap making business and she can now afford to purchase on timely basis items for the manufacturing of the soap; as a result, her income has increased. She hopes that one day, thanks to her increased revenues, she will be able to build a house of her own and also take care of her children’s higher education school fees.
She believes it is worthwhile to protect the forest (Kakum National Park) in order for future generations to be able to see the diversity of animal and plant life and also for ecotourism. She considers that the Microsfere project has motivated her and others in Kenkuase community to protect the natural resources of the forest.