Congratulations to this week’s winner of the Raffle for Institutional Action Plan Submitters!
Women and Associations for Gain both Economic and Social (WAGES) began its activities in 1994 as a project of Care International Initiative in Togo. It’s goal was to meet socio-economic development needs for 3,900 women in Lomé, the capitol of Togo. This initial objective was surpassed in less than 3 years owing to the hard work and commitment of the WAGES staff and is now a microfinance institution, recognized by local authorities.
WAGES’ mission is to “provide financial and non-financial services to persons or groups of persons, particularly to women running businesses in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas and thus contributing to better living conditions for these populations.”
Its values are honesty, integrity, justice, solidarity, efficacy, efficiency for the well-being of the community.
Products and services: WAGES provides its clients with 6 savings products and 8 credit products (individual and group) in addition to trainings on financial and social issues in order to improve loan profitability. Training modules include savings and credit management, business management, marketing, record keeping and accounting, literacy, awareness about HIV/AIDS and malaria, methods for transformation of farming and fish products, management of farms, and more.
Target populations: Through its 18 branches, WAGES provides services to urban, peri-urban and rural areas and reaches more than 170,000 people of which 1,400 are communities groups. Clients undertake a variety of professional activities and women account for 75% of clients.
WAGES‘ activities focus particularly on the most disadvantaged or vulnerable populations, e.g., porters whose credit amounts do not exceed 100,000 Francs CFA (USD 200) and young women apprenticed in a trade whose credit limits do not exceed 200,000 Francs CFA (USD 400).
Expansion to rural Togo: Today, the institution is expanding its activities to rural areas thanks to partnerships with the Centre International de Développement et de Recherches (CIDR), the national Projet de Soutien aux Activités Economiques des Groupements (PSAEG), and the global solidarity.
With these new initiatives, WAGES’ presence in these localities is an opportunity to offer trainings and grant small loans for activities in crafted for rural areas, i.e., agriculture, livestock farming, craft industry, small business and enterprise, etc. Furthermore, in some localities WAGES leads social activities from financial (small amount loans not exceeding 90,000 F CFA [USD 180]) to social areas (literacy, awareness about HIV/AIDS, malaria, implementation of community savings for healthcare, etc.).
WAGES has built and equipped a literacy center in order to train villagers. In addition, WAGES has also installed HIV/AIDS awareness billboards that remind communities of specific behavior changes to protect themselves. All these accomplishments provide support to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.