POSTED January 24, 2019
Loan program transforms a family — providing new hope
Find out how the lives of one family in Burkina Faso changed for the better thanks to donor support
By Patrice Zongo, communications manager, Burkina Faso
In rural Burkina Faso, women often suffer with poor living conditions and limited access to credit. So it’s hard to develop sustainable, income-generating activities to improve their lives and help their families. At Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, through the generosity of our donors, we can help through village-savings-and-loan (VSLA) community groups.
Asseta Zangré (above) realized the value of these groups, designed to encourage (mostly) women to save funds, which are loaned with interest to finance income-generating activities. “I joined the VSLA group in 2014 when it started in my village,” recalls Asseta. “Before that, I ran a small restaurant where I sold cooked rice with sauce.”
Before she joined her VSLA group, Asseta’s business was small. She knew accessing credit would help grow her business, but financial institutions wouldn’t grant her a loan — she didn’t have other options.
The entrepreneur’s situation changed once she joined her VSLA group. She started borrowing money and progressively asked for bigger loans. Today, she buys up to 5 tons of rice a year, compared to when she could hardly finish 1 ton and a half. And, she makes $270 on each ton, a significant amount in Burkina Faso.
“I can easily face my children’s needs in terms of school fees, clothing, health and others. I have also widened my restaurant.” And, there’s more: “I (contributed) to helping my husband build our house in concrete,” she explains proudly. She has also developed a sheep farm, which her children often help her with when they’re not in school.
Koumbema, Asseta’s husband, is proud and thinks local men should encourage their wives to join a VSLA group. “Since my wife has been in the VSLA group, so many things have changed. She helped me a lot,” he explains. “Our life has improved.”
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