$50,000 needed of $110,000
The West Africa program works to improve production of, access to, and use of food in over 70 villages. Training encompasses conservation agriculture, tree preservation and reforestation, gardening and nutrition, village savings and loans, small business management, raising animals, as well as health and hygiene. Through these combined approaches and by focusing on increasing the knowledge and capacities of partner staff and local facilitators, over 2,400 participants are improving their food security. The local partner, SEL, is a small organization whose goal is to “show everyone love” regardless of their religion or ethnicity, by helping people improve their food security. Due to the challenging security context in this region, the program partners request that we do not publicly share information regarding their specific location for the safety of their staff.
Fake It Till You Make It
Even though Anissa knew nothing about running a business, she volunteered to be a Household Advisor on Small Business at the urging of a trainer because she knew she’d receive instruction on how to do it.
“I couldn’t imagine how having a small business would improve the life of my family,” she says. “When I’d spent what little I earned from my harvest, I’d borrow money from someone any time a need arose. I had a hard time managing the household and providing for my children, paying school fees, buying staple foods, and so forth.”
The trainer explained to the volunteers the ins and outs of starting and building a small business. Anissa felt more and more enthusiasm as she learned about studying the market, choosing good-quality supplies, calculating profits, reducing expenses, and how to forecast the unforeseen. She also joined a Village Savings and Lending Association, and saved up for when and if she figured out what business suited her. All this while continuing to farm and care for her family.
Anissa quickly saw a market opportunity, and decided to sell baobab leaves. Baobab, also called “tree of life,” is the tall tree with the smooth trunk that looks like it is growing root-side-up. All of its parts are edible, highly nutritious and prized for medicinal properties. The leaves are tangy and can be cooked like spinach. She started out buying three to five large sacks of them in her village to sell in the city on market day. Little by little, she earned enough to increase her business, and is currently buying and selling 40 to 50 bags a week.
She makes good money on her sales and uses her earnings for food, clothing and necessities for the family. She has bought three oxen and a cart to use on her land and to rent out. She makes a great Household Advisor on Small Business because she has an inspiring story to tell. “If I can do this, you can, too,” she says. Not only is she managing the household much better, her husband appreciates the positive changes she’s brought about, and helps her with the business.
West Africa Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Showing Everyone Love