With a donkey cart on the road to improvement

Safoura is a 46-year-old woman who lives in Dieli, a small village in rural Mali. After losing her husband 12 years ago, she became a single mother of 7 children. She knows life can be challenging. 

As a kid, she could only attend primary school. She realizes that this has limited her opportunities a lot. That’s why she does everything within her power to make sure her kids can go to school.
Ever since she was little, Safoura has been buying and reselling groceries, just like her mother did. She buys rice, onions, spaghetti, fruits and grains in bulk, at a market about 50 km away where it is cheapest. Then she resells them again at three local markets to make a profit.

Before Safoura had access to loans from RMCR, she had to do all of this with public transportation. Now, with the profit she made from her loans, she has bought a wagon and two donkeys. This makes it much easier for her to transport the bulk goods to and from the markets. It’s still hard work, traveling 100km 4 times per week, on a donkey cart in the blistering Mali sun. But the knowledge that it allows her to give her children the education they deserve, keeps her going.

Sometimes she faces new challenges, like one of donkeys that got sick because she can’t feed them enough. But the loans she gets from RMCR help her to manage and overcome these struggles.

For the future, Safoura has two big dreams. For her kids, she wants to be able to buy cows, sheep and other cattle, because that equals wealth where she lives. And for herself, she would love to buy a motorcycle one day, so it would be easier for her to move around.

Safoura is very grateful for all the help she received. This gives her the opportunity to develop her business, take away her worries and help her overcome setbacks. Without the loans, she would never have been able to develop her business as much as she has done now.
If you’d like to support more borrowers like Safoura in Mali, you can find their profiles here.

About the author

Koen Verrecht

You can call him many things, but if you ask family and friends, adventurous is always one of them. Also on this list are idealistic, playful, impulsive and searching. In his heart, Koen has a passion for education, old motorcycles and nature. After graduating as a primary school teacher, Koen left his familiar and comfortable Belgian home to volunteer as a teacher in the Honduran jungle. He was 23, travelling alone and going to a developing country for the first time. He didn’t speak any Spanish and did not know anybody there. He was uncertain and scared when the adventure started, yet he had the best time of his life. After this life-changing experience, Koen was bitten by the travel bug and explored different parts of the world: by motorcycle through Uganda and Rwanda, by train across North America and backpacked in Southeast Asia. In between he teaches or works as an educator, and volunteers his time to Mobile School to help street children throughout the world. This is where he picked up the skill of positive focus, which he’s proud to have set as a base in his life.