Microloans to Women’s Collective in Hamedoula
November 22, 2022
In March of this year, we were excited to meet a group of six women in our remote partner village of Hamedoula who had started a collaborative effort to contribute to financially supporting their families’ needs. Since Muhammad Yunus’s innovative work in microfinance in the 1970s, we have learned that providing assistance to women’s microenterprises helps to improve the lives of children, and we jumped at the opportunity to work with the Women’s Collective in Hamedoula.
Hamedoula, like many of the villages in this remote northern region, is the semipermanent home of a nomadic herding people. The population of the village swells during the rainy season and shrinks during the dry season, when families lead their herds south to grazing lands hundreds of miles away. The members of the Women’s Collective remain in the village year-round, maintaining their homes, caring for their children, tending to their gardens, and looking after their cows.
This group of women (Aissata Djiby, Mayram Djiby, Hawa Wouloul, Ramatel Djiby, Mayram Amadou, and Hawa Aliou Sall) had created a new trade route. Each week, they would undertake the long journey, many miles through an arid landscape, to arrive at the nearest weekly market in Thille Boubacar. They would bring with them the products that they were able to make in Hamedoula, such as fresh milk and their traditional yogurt, which are valued additions to the offerings of the weekly market. And they would invest the proceeds of their sales in buying basic staples to bring back to the village for sale to their neighbors. No longer would villagers need to make the long journey to the weekly market in order to buy rice, flour, tea, and so on.
We offered these women interest-free loans that they were able to invest both in increasing production of the goods they bring to market and in purchasing larger quantities at wholesale prices of the goods they bring back for sale in the village. They have faithfully sent their monthly repayment, and we have explained that their repayment of the loans will allow us to offer future loans to aid in the expansion of their efforts.
These women in Hamedoula are doing extraordinary work in order to improve the lives of their children, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support their efforts!
And we are so grateful to our generous supporters for making this important project possible!