Where sharing meets caring
There’s a new wave of women taking Kita by storm, and – thanks to your sponsorship – they’re saving both money and lives.
Your generosity initiated savings groups across Kita, where more than 60 women have taken a spot at the helm. The groups meet regularly to pool funds, pitch business cases and offer one another loans – helping kick-start their financial independence.
The women start their sessions with a celebratory song and cheer.
Yet these meetings also lend support far beyond finances. It’s a safe and comfortable space where women can come together and discuss issues that matter to them, like their health, and the health of their children. Nurses or health workers that you helped train often use the forum as a chance to promote awareness on disease prevention or the importance of maternal and child health.
“We meet once a week, and have also benefitted from training on malaria. We are very happy to participate… the reason that pushed me to join is that it will allow women to access better health care and make more money to help our families,” shares group member, Djita.
Already, women like her are taking on active roles as financial providers – and feeling all the better for it.
“Today, women can be proud to be able to provide their support,” she explains. “We are able to buy supplies for our children or seek health care. We are more fulfilled and no longer dependent on what our husbands bring home.”
Leaning in as leaders
“The change this project has made in my life is immense,” says Koumba.
Beyond helping them manage their money and improve their health, women – like Koumba – have been trained on manufacturing and selling soap so they can launch their own small businesses.
Now they’re cleaning up in more ways than one!
“I decided to involve body and soul in the project,” explains Koumba, a passionate participant and promoter of women’s rights. “Knowing it will improve the health and income of women is a source of motivation for me. Today, I make and sell soap and this allows me to meet the needs of the clothing, school or health of my children.”
Cashing-in with confidence
“Thanks to this project, I have more confidence in my abilities to contribute to the development of my family. I am not obliged to wait for support from men,” shares Bintou, adding that she’s seen women “beginning to be autonomous.”
And it isn’t only women’s perceptions of themselves that’s changing, thanks to your support. Men, and the community at large, are also taking notice, shifting mindsets to appreciate just how powerful and capable women truly are.
The savings crew.
“We live in a part of Mali where little importance is given to the role played by women in the development of the community, because of traditions,” explains Koumba. “I have been impressed by how sponsorship has led people to be conscious of the role of women, so now we’re able to give our opinion and get involved in major decisions in our community.”
Mancon, a local husband and father, is proof of this change. He’s proud of his wife’s accomplishments and thrilled to see how advancements in gender equality are helping everyone escape poverty.
“Community sponsors have led the entire community to establish solidarity with women. Before, we were experiencing enormous difficulties in meeting the needs of our children. Since my wife has joined the group, she supports me in supporting the needs of our family,” he says.
Soaking in the suds-cess
Your compassionate support has transformed the lives of Djita, Koumba, Bintou, and countless more women. In turn, families have more opportunities and can benefit from improved health resources and a boosted local economy – bringing all of Kita together, and closer to their goals.
“A project which helps women and children, can only be beneficial for the community,” says Djita. “We are working hand in hand so that we can achieve to succeed the mission entrusted to us.”
Today, local women are eager and grateful to capitalize on a wealth of prospects. But, as with the best things in life, Bintou believes the true profit of this change is priceless: “The importance of this project is invaluable.”
Now see how it made all the difference for Sountougoumba and her family of 7.