A loan of $1,875 helped a member to buy fresh fish and grain.

Sabougnouman (Porte Bonheur) Group's story

Sabougnouman (meaning 'good luck charm') is a group of nine women (of whom three are widows and six are married). The group members average 41 years of age and five children. They live in traditional polygamous families in the Bamanan Kin district of Kirango, in the sub-prefecture of Markala (fourth administrative region of Mali).

Each belonging to the same traditional mutual-aid association and doing the same income-generating work, namely buying and selling fish and grain, the women of the Sabougnouman group decided jointly to sign up with the institution two years ago. After having correctly repaid their two preceding loans, the group is on its third solidarity loan (group loan).

They intend to use this new loan to buy: 50 baskets of fish, 5 slabs of ice, 12 sacks of millet, 4 sacks of rice, and 2 sacks of beans. While they get their supplies of fish from fishermen on the River Niger at the entrance of the Markala Dam, the grain is gotten from wholesale vendors at the weekly marketplace of Diamarabougou on Sundays. If a portion of the fish is sold fresh (to women customers), the rest is smoked at home over traditional hearths designed especially for this, in order to be sold retail to bulk merchants, sometimes at the daily marketplace of Kirango Markala, in Ségou and in Bamako (the capital of Mali). The grain is sold at the Diamarabougou marketplace to customers composed of women and men and generally in cash at the retail level.

They each hope to realize an average profit of 32,000 francs CFA each month that will be used for covering the children's school fees and to help their husbands meet family expenses. Their ambition is to buy a house in which to live, especially for the orphans.

In this group: Dji, Ami, Oumou, Djènèbou, Mamou, Fatoumata, Kadia, Bintou, Fatoumata

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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