A loan of $2,725 helped a member to buy plastic foodware, condiments, sacks of charcoal and cookware.

Lafia (La Tranquilité) Group's story

The members of the Lafia (lit. tranquility) group are married women who, on average, are 50 years old and have 5 children. They live with their husband and children in monogamous families in Kamalen Sirakoro, a village located 4 kilometers from the city of Sikasso (Sikasso region, Republic of Mali).
The Lafia group sells various products: condiments, plasticware, aluminum items, gathered fruits (zaban, shea nuts, néré), Wax-brand pagnes (traditional print cloth) and charcoal.
Made up of relatives, neighbors, and friends, this group has been borrowing from the micro-finance institution Soro Yiriwaso for the past 4 years. It is now seeking its ninth group loan and has properly repaid all previous loans. With this loan, the women intend to buy, in Sikasso, 250 pairs of plastic shoes, 100 kg of dried fish, 4 dozens tin saucepots, 125 sacks of charcoal and a large amount of condiments.
The members do their shopping for gathered fruits and charcoal in Kamalen Sirakoro and in the surrounding villages. Each member store the purchased goods in their respective home, until they reach a sufficient stock to start reselling. Gathered fruits, charcoal, etc are usually sold (for cash and to a female clientele coming from Bamako, Ségou, etc) during fair days in the Sikasso market. Plasticware, cookware (locally manufactured aluminum items) and condiments are purchased from wholesalers in the grand market of Sikasso, and resold in the village, where people from the surrounding villages come to do their shopping.
They hope to make a monthly profit of 25000 XOF each, to be used to help their husband with the family expenses, and to repay the loan.

In this group: Ramata, Ami, Mafouné, Wassa, Kadiatou Vieux, Barakissa, Fatoumata, Sitan

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Patrick Stadelmann

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