These ladies are the recipients of our KIVA loan for August. I've developed a bit of a soft spot for these groups of women from Mali, maybe because their lives are so different from mine, but also because almost all are comprised of extended family groups. You note than all of these women bear two surnames, Dembele or Coulibaly, and since they live in traditional families, where plural marriages are the norm, they are probably all not only related but wives of a group of two to four brothers.
In this Group:
Soumba Dembele, Tabi Dembele , Mamou Moussa Dembele, Kanouya Dembele , Bougougnon Coulibaly, Dagnere Dembele , Batoma Dioko Dembele, Gnire Coulibaly , Sitan Baba Coulibaly, Mamou Amadou Coulibaly.
The members of Wolale V Group are married women living in Cinzara, a village in the prefecture of San in the region of Segou Mali. On average, they are 39 years old and have at least six children.
They grow groundnuts, fonio and sesame. In order to ensure that their agricultural investments are profitable, the members of Wolale I Group decided two years ago to participate in the loan program of Soro Yiriwaso, the agency which extends Microfinance in Mali. After having properly repaid their previous loans, they have now applied for their first farming loan.
Tabi Dembele wants to use her loan to buy a large enough quantity of fonio and groundnut seeds to seed her fields, and to buy small equipment and farming supplies at the larger market in San.
After the rainy season, Tabi's harvest will be warehoused long enough for its value to increase, before it is sold at the large market in Dah and at the nearby markets, retail (or wholesale) to cash customers who mostly come from big towns. After their produce is sold, the group members expect to make a profit of about $36.00 each, which they will use to repay the loan and contribute to ongoing family expenses.
In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a group of individuals bound by a group guarantee. Under this arrangement, each member of the group supports one another and is responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members if someone is delinquent or defaults.