A loan of $625 helped a member to buy calabashes.

Fokaben Group's story

The four women who make up the Fokaben group are, for the most part, married in polygamous families. They are, on average, 41 years old and have an average of four children each. They all live in the village of Noumou Were, in the region of Ségou (4th largest administrative region in Mali). They met one another through neighborhood, family, and marital ties. They buy and sell calabashes and mortars engraved with beautiful slogans and designs.

The group members decided to start working with Soro Yiriwaso in order to help strengthen their revenue-generating activities, and they are now on their 14th group-loan cycle.

Aminata (the woman standing on the far left in the photo) is a big seller of calabashes and engraved mortars in the village of Noumou Were. She plans to use her loan to buy 150 calabashes at the Médine market from itinerant merchants from the surrounding villages in the Ségou region. She resells her goods for cash or for credit to a clientele made up mostly of women. She sells her goods from home, traveling from place to place, and she also takes orders. To make the engravings, she leaves needles in the fire for at least one hour, and when they are glowing red, she removes them and starts engraving beautiful designs on the exterior of the mortars and calabashes, according to the client's personal taste.

With the loan, Aminata expects to earn an average monthly profit of 25,000 FCFA, which she will use to reinvest in her business and provide condiments for her family. Her goal is to sustain her business through this partnership with Soro Yiriwaso.

In this group: Kadiatou, Aminata, Bintou, Awa

Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Holden Ferry

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Loan details