Total loan: $20,000
Timbuktu, Tombouctou Region, Mali / Arts
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A loan helped to invest in a larger, safer workspace for 150 Tuareg artisans practicing traditional silversmithing in Mali.
Mohamed was born in Mali as a 7th generation silversmith. He learned the art of silversmithing from his father, who learned it from his own father. Mohamed founded Timidwa (Timidwa means ‘friendship’ in Tamachek, the language of the Tuareg people in Mali) to help local Tuareg artisans and to maintain Tuareg traditions. The association is comprised of 70 artisans of Mali’s various ethnic groups. After years of violence and instability in Mali, Mohamed believes it is ever more important to employ and support artisans to rebuild and strengthen local communities. Last year, Mohamed took out his first loan from Kiva for $8,000, which allowed him to buy new, high-quality tools to increase the production capacity of the artisans he works with. This loan was critical as he crafted new products for upcoming markets and trade shows. A second loan of $20,000 will help Mohamed invest in a larger workshop for his growing business; since his last loan, Mohamed has doubled the size of his business, and now employs 150 artisans. He plans to find a bigger workshop in a safer location, where he can work with more artisans on a regular basis. This loan will also allow Mohamed to invest in high-quality raw materials to make traditional Tuareg artisan products from stones, ebony wood, and silver. This investment will allow Mohamed to continue safeguarding the Tuareg culture and craft and fight poverty in his community through sustainable employment.