SALT/AgriPlus is a worldwide program run by Christian Aid Ministries. CAM partnered with CCM Global in Northern Ghana, empowering local Christians to use their own resources wisely and sustainably.
Currently, we oversee about 35 Savings Groups, each located in a village where CCM Global planted a church. The Savings Groups are an extension of the church, although non-Christian members are also welcome.
Each weekly meeting includes a Bible lesson and a study of a subject pertaining to the members’ everyday lives, such as farming or managing finances. The members save a small amount every week and can give each other loans from their savings box, which are repaid with a little interest. At the end of a nine-month cycle, all the funds including the interest are shared back out to the members.
In rural areas like these, people do not have access to banks, and they can get loans only at severe rates of interest such as 45%.
The Savings Groups have proven to be beneficial in several ways:
1. They help members get out of debt and, by planning ahead, avoid returning to the same cycle of hunger every year before the new harvest.
2. They provide an opportunity for people to get a loan and start a small business without drowning in interest, helping their fellow community members at the same time.
3. These groups are also excellent places for the unbelievers in the community to hear Christian teaching and see Christian unity in action.
In addition, we run the Food Management Project which operates like the Savings Groups but saves grain instead of cash. This is useful in an area where virtually everyone is a subsistence farmer. We developed a locally-built silo prototype where groups can store grain until food supplies run out. These groups are popular because they provide real answers to real problems.
In close connection with the Savings Groups, AgriPlus focuses on networking with other organizations to bring improved methods of agriculture to this impoverished area. Soil erosion, deforestation, and the resulting climate change are creating an increasingly difficult situation for farmers. We are experimenting with different methods of farming and drought-resistant crops that can improve the soil. In addition, efforts are underway to help local church leaders begin small businesses, enabling them to better support their families.
SALT/Agriplus in Northern Ghana seeks to build the Kingdom of God by by giving local Christians the ability to better support their families, churches, and church leaders. We believe God has given each people group all the resources they need to thrive and that He will also give the wisdom to use these resources for His glory. We desire to see the church in rural Northern Ghana thrive, grow, and spill over into adjacent areas and neighboring tribes until Jesus returns. Thank you for praying with us towards that end.