One of the key elements of the program is to empower shea processors to promote their value-addition in the chain and to develop it further. Our feasibility study revealed that being grouped would contribute to reaching this objective. Indeed, as a group, shea processors would be able to:
- process higher quantities at lower costs (through a collective use of some processing equipment);
- bulk their production so as to have attractive quantities to offer to medium/large buyers;
- better negotiate with buyers a fair price in exchange of economic quantities of quality shea products.
Therefore, the program decided to promote the following model:
To develop this model, the first step consists in having functional groups. By co-implementing this project with our partner MFIs, we already gave ourselves an access to women groups (please note that to create and to develop credit groups is part of the MFIs’ lending methodology). But those groups were not always functioning well and/or located in high density shea areas. Therefore, the program had to top-up trained existing groups and create new groups in communities with a high concentration of shea.
To build well functioning groups, trainings in group dynamics started in November in our target areas of Bimbilla and Gusheigu. The main areas of the group dynamic trainings are group formation process, group management and conflict resolution. To give you a concrete idea of what is discussed during the trainings, let me give you some of the headlines of the group management module: they will for example learn what is the role of leaders, what is an effective leader, what are the different types of leadership, how to elect its leaders, what are the functions of the group chairman/secretary/treasurer, how to manage a meeting, how to keep minutes, etc.
Extract from the Facilitator’s Manual
Don’t hesitate to post questions in case you want further insights on how group development and group dynamics is done!