A loan of $675 helped a member purchase of raw materials (néré seeds and firewood) to produce soumbala.

Jigiya (Support) Group's story

The four members of Jigiya group are all married women living in polygamous households. They are on average 35 years old and have 4 children. They live in the village of Tentou in the Sous-prefecture of Ouéléssébougou (second administrative region of the Republic of Mali). They met because of bonds of friendship and family and they process néré seeds into "soumbala" (a black-colored paste that is much appreciated and is essential to making sauces in this area of West Africa.) They learned how to make soumbala from their mothers when they were young, that is, from generation to generation.

Intent on satisfying an ever growing clientele, they decided to join the credit program of Soro Yiriwaso. They are now on their fourth group loan, with all the earlier loans correctly reimbursed.

With this loan, each of them intends to buy 450 kg of néré grains (which come from an oil-producing tree native to the Sahel region) and firewood. The néré seeds are boiled and then ground and crushed in mortars to make the paste. The cycle production and sale) takes 3 weeks.

The soumbala that they produce is goes to Bamako (the capital of the Republic of Mali) and often to Senegal to be sold for cash or credit to wholesalers. Once they have concluded the sale, they buy high quality "pagnes" (lengths of brightly colored batik-like cloth) that they re-sell in the village.

They each expect to make a monthly average profit of 28,000 F CFA and their ambition is to become important producers who supply the whole region with soumbala.

In this group: Sitan, Fanta, Mariam, Rokia

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Teresa Kramer

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