Adama is a peanut and rice processor in Bauchi. Before the project, she struggled to manage her finances, which limited her savings.
In August 2020, MEDA WAY Nigeria, conducted a 5-day Gender Action & Learning Systems (GALS) training in her community.
“Before this training, I was always spending money … And my husband used to spend money eating outside. He never supported the household financial needs.”
She says the GALS methodology which included activities like the challenge action tree opened her eyes to the gender variance within her home. Adama describes her family tree as not being balanced before the training. “When I had to draw how I spent my money in the home, I saw all the unnecessary things I was spending on. During the training, I even left the income space blank in my drawing of happy family tree because I was not generating enough money. Nothing was happening there.”
Her social challenge was the lack of communication, which Adama says was affecting her marriage. Through the tools, she was able to draw a plan which she shared with her husband. In her excitement, Adama showed her plans and her milestones with the follow-up visiting team. “My goal was to buy goats, and I got one. At the time of MEDA’s visit, she had already achieved her milestone of owning a goat which she plans on adding another one before the end of year 2020.
“I process rice and it was from my profit, I took out 6,000 naira to buy this goat.” said Adama. I would have spent the money on something less valuable if I did not have a vision,” she added.
Through the challenge action tree, Adama analysed the gender and financial issues she was facing. Through the exercise she learned how to address the challenges as an individual and collective. She describes the experience as an eyeopener.
“I realised that my challenge was lack of communication and cooperation from my husband but now after the training I saw the need to inform him of the things he needs to start doing which are his responsibility as a father and husband. I talked to him on certain things which I had never done before.” She goes on to say – “there’s a lot of changes like he even tells me of his decisions now and he supports me when I am parboiling my rice in the evening. We are also saving better.”
The GALS training in Liman Katagum was also used to identify peer trainers who could champion community led action learnings and Adama was proud to say, “I was able to show the tools to four of my children and they are practicing.” As a member of a Savings and Loans Group, at the SLG level she has gone on to teach 24 people, “three of my SLG members are already quite conversant with the tools, and nineteen are still learning although two persons are yet to show interest” in the training and she’s also training seven of her neighbor’s children at her house.