Sinapi Aba Trust (Ghana)

26 May 2010 at 02:23 8 comments

By Michelle Baker, KF11 Ghana

I am a Kiva Fellow working at Sinapi Aba Trust, which is located in Kumasi, Ghana in the heart of the Ashanti.  Sinapi Aba Trust is an autonomous private non-for-profit organization established in 1994 with a mission to “serve as the Mustard Seed through which opportunities for enterprise development and income generation are given to the economically disadvantaged to transform their lives.”

When I was in the field, I had an opportunity to see how Sinapi Aba uses it mission to teach and inspire its staff and borrowers.  Here is a list of guiding principles that is placed on branch office walls that I visited which serve as a reminder to branch staff of Sinapi Aba’s mission.

Since the photo is poor quality, I am rewriting what it says.

The client is the most important person in our premises.

He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him.

He is not an interruption to our work; he is the purpose of it.

He is not an outsider on our business, he is part of it.

We are not doing him a favor by serving him; he is giving us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.

For its borrowers, Sinapi Aba has created a slogan which helps the borrowers connect with the Sinapi Aba staff, learn Sinapi Aba’s mission and reminds borrowers of their responsibilities.  When a Sinapi Aba staff member enters a borrower meeting, this is the exchange that occurs:

The loan officer says “Sinapi”, and the borrowers respond, “Aba pa,” which means “Good seed.”

The loan officer says “Sinapi,” and the borrowers respond, “Nkoso,” which means “Progress.”

The loan officer says “Sinapi,” and the borrowers respond, “Yen pe sika sini,” which means “No part payment.”

The loan officer says “Sinapi,” and the borrowers respond, “No meeting, no cash,” meaning if you don’t attend group meetings, you do not get another loan.

The loan officer says, “Sinapi,” and the borrowers respond, “Wo ma no yie, wa gye,” which means “Regular payment attracts another loan.”

This exchange occurred each time I attended a borrower meeting.  I thought it was an ingenious way to share important information to the borrowers.

Entry filed under: Africa, blogsherpa, Ghana, KF11 (Kiva Fellows 11th Class), Sinapi Aba Trust. Tags: , .

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  • 1. Alhassan  |  22 July 2010 at 01:46

    Hello Michelle, it has been a long time. I took a break. I am the CEO of a young microfinance company – northern investment Gh ltd and i would like you to come see the wonderful work we are doing. take care and bye..

  • 2. Maria  |  27 May 2010 at 07:50

    thanks for the update.

  • 3. Tyson  |  26 May 2010 at 14:41


  • 4. Alhassan  |  26 May 2010 at 08:15

    Good work for Ghana and all, but when are yuo visiting the northern region of Ghana? keep in touch this is my e-mail

    • 5. Michelle Baker  |  29 May 2010 at 12:41

      Thanks for keeping up with my Kiva blog. I hope to visit the northern region at some point during my time in Ghana. Is there a particular area that is a must see?

  • 6. eric  |  26 May 2010 at 07:07

    werd up. keep up the good work michelle!

    • 7. Michelle Baker  |  29 May 2010 at 12:42

      Thanks Eric!

  • 8. Jana Carter  |  26 May 2010 at 05:39

    love these updates michelle. thanks!

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