A loan of $1,025 helped to buy firewood.

Fatoumata's story

Ms. Fatoumata Koné, age 40, is married and the mother of five children. She lives with her husband and children in the Kôkô district, in Koutiala prefecture (Region of Sikasso). For societal reasons, she did not go to school. She soon got interested in revenue-generating work, something she learned from her mother. After having tried several kinds of work unsuccessfully, she ended up five years ago opting to sell firewood. It should be noted that Fatoumata has 20 years of experience in the commerce of various goods. Firewood is one of the essential elements for women in Mali when preparing food.

Concerned about building a sizable stock of firewood in anticipation of the off-season, when firewood shortages are crucial, she decided to join the micro-finance institution Soro Yiriwaso and is now on her first individual loan.

Ms. Fatoumata envisions using this loan to buy two truckloads of firewood from rural producers around Koutiala. She makes her sales in front of her doorway, in the Kôkô district.

She plans to realize a profit of 150,000 franc CFA per month that will be used to make loan interest payments, to help cover day-to-day family expenses, and to invest the rest in her business.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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