Thursday, February 26, 2015


This week in Bolga has been full of highs for us here at TradeAID. We carried out two business skills and record keeping training sessions for two of the local crafts groups: the basket weavers from the Zaare community, and the fabric weavers situated in Bolga.

session at zaare

The training sessions were led primarily by our two Frafra speakers, Asuah and Felix, who both did an excellent job at leading the session, ensuring that some of the women who struggled with literacy and understanding the content had sufficient help to overcome their struggles. The rest of the group assisted the two in running the session, offering help to those who needed it, and working through examples on the board. We even conducted a small role play showing good and bad examples of customer service, drawing laughs with Joel’s staged attempts to force a product upon Helen, and happy applause when he demonstrated a friendly transaction with Tess!

Asuah delivering the training

We were all very pleased with the outcome of the training; the two crafts groups displayed enthusiasm and a good understanding of the session, despite some of the members of each group being illiterate. There was a wide range of literacy ability throughout the groups, varying from fully literate, to some members having never held a pencil before. Therefore, we had two different systems for teaching the bookkeeping: for those who were literate a simple table showing income, expenditure and profit was used; and for those who were illiterate the words and numbers were replaced by symbols and tallies. We also aimed to overcome this disparity by ensuring that each group worked together on their records, with those who are literate helping those who aren’t.

practicing examples


It may seem that basic level bookkeeping is such a simple thing to be teaching the crafts groups; however at TradeAID we know that empowering these women to use this skill can have a hugely positive impact on their businesses. It is the type of seemingly small change that will in fact be a step towards managing a flourishing and, most importantly, sustainable, business.

session with fabric weavers

 We will be conducting follow up sessions with each group to ensure their continuation of the record keeping, but it is satisfying to know that we have been part of something which will have positive and expanding repercussions into the future.
                                                                                              Josh,Helen and Noah (UK vols  and IC-TL)

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