The Ofuobi (One Heart) Christian Women Cooperative is an association of women in Orba, Eastern Nigeria who pulled themselves together to raise a common fund from which members borrowed to scale up their business or to start a new business venture. This common interest is based on the fact that the village women, unlike in the past, want their voices to be heard. There is no other better way to achieve this than to come together as a group to fight this common cause.
One of the major challenges facing the organization is that the 5000 Canadian dollars given by the Canadian Samaritans for Africa was only available to 30 women, whereas their membership stands at 87 women by the time the partnership began in 2013.
Another factor is that some of the women live in shanties, where some of their goods are not well protected. Therefore, they live in fear of being robbed and losing their wares to heavy rainfall.
There is also the problem of transportation. The women run a high risk of transporting the goods from their various homes to the market places and vice versa due to the poor condition of their village roads, especially those living at the outskirts of the community.
The Canadian Samaritans for Africa group provided grants for the women to foster their trade through micro-credit.
CSA also provided annual training for the women on financial management, savings programs, while helping them to develop programs and strategies for accountability and monitoring of loan.
The grant received has gone a long way, in assisting the women in their trades which are mainly groceries and clothing business. There are 87 women in this group and only 30 have received loans so far. CSA hopes to give an additional grant to this group as soon as funds become available to support the rest of the members of this group with an initial loan and to offer training to them as well.