A loan of $250 helped to buy two 50-kg sacks of beans and a 50-liter drum of sodabi.

Assiba's story

Having roots in Ketou, a small village in Sèmè Podji County (located 10 km from the city of Porto-Novo, the political capital of BENIN), Ms. D. Assiba, age 65, is married to Mr. ATALE Léonel, a house painter by profession. Assiba is the mother of six children, all of age. She lives in Cotonou in the AGBODJEDO district, where she used to sell smoked fish ten years ago. But five years ago, she dropped that business in favor of retail sales in beans and sodabi, a local alcoholic drink that is highly appreciated by the people of Benin. Her potential customers are restauranteurs to whom Assiba makes deliveries, especially this drink. She regularly goes to get supplies from inland villages of Benin. Today, she supports two of her grand-daughters and spends 1,500 francs on average each day to feed her family. The market demand for her merchandise is very strong. That’s why she’s requesting a third loan, so as to bolster her business.

Alidé means “there is always a path for the poorest” in Benin’s local language of Fon. Benin is a small West African country located next to Nigeria and has a per capita GDP of $1,500. Alidé offers special loans to highly vulnerable people at an interest rate of 0%. It is part of a group that is soon launching a micro health insurance program for its clients.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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