A loan of $1,025 helped a member to buy different goods (waste cotton oil, Wax pagnes, peanuts, millet, sugar, children's clothing, and gum).

Soutoura (Confidentialité) Group's story

The seven women of the group Soutoura are all married and average 34 years of age and four children. They live in large extended traditional families in Sanoubougou I of Sikasso (third administrative region of the Republic of Mali). They know one another through ties of friendship and community. Their principal work includes buying and transforming the waste oil from refineries into soaps, and it also includes buying and selling Wax pagnes (highly prized cloth in Africa), peanuts, millet, and gum. Traditional soaps are made with waste cotton oil and potash.

In order to satisfy a customer base that continues to grow, this group decided to join the micro-finance institution Soro Yiriwaso, with which it is on its second solidarity loan (group loan). And the group performed well in repaying the preceding loan.

With this new loan, the members of the group intend to buy: 2 barrels of cotton waste, 2 sacks of potash, 22 lengths of Wax pagnes, clothing for children, 5 sacks of millet, 1 sack of sugar, and 3 sacks of 'henis' gum. The city of Bobo Dioulasso (of Burkina Faso) and the cities of Bamako et Sikasso are their principal sources of supplies. The merchandise is sold at the Sikasso marketplace, out of homes, and door-to-door at the retail level, cash or credit accepted, to customers composed general of women.

With this loan, they each envision realizing an average profit of 40,000 francs CFA per month that will be use to cover the loan interest and to support their families.

In this group: Rokia, Ramata, Abi, Diaminatou, Aminata T., Oumou, Sounkoura

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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