Mrs. Awa Diarra, a member of the Sabougnouman group of Tieneguebougou, is 35 years old and mother of 5 children, 2 girls and 3 boys.
She lives in Tieneguebougou, a village in Kolokani commune at about 6 kilometers to the west.
In the early days of World Vision's saving groups in the village, Awa voluntarily decided to join.
Previously, Awa Diarra and some comrades were sparing unsuccessfully:
"Some of the women in the neighborhood and I were running traditional savings activities.
We had trouble saving enough money. Given the benefits of World Vision’s saving groups (weekly formal meetings, shares saved with documentation, well-guarded common cash with 3 padlocks) especially the possibilities for everyone to save according to their means, the easiness to spare as well as the social funds, we decided to join them".
The Saving group approach has been a genuine opportunity for the Sabougnouman group. It has significantly increased their fund. ''Before the saving group, I never saved more than 25000F CFA (US $ 44.131) and this was mobilized in two years. With World Vision’s saving group, in one year I saved 32575F CFA (US $ 57,503). In one year, our Sabougnouma group raised 582475F CFA (US $ 1,028,223) with only 100F CFA per contribution (US $ 0.176). In addition to the increase in our revenues, the Saving Group has strengthened our social ties. Thanks to social funds, we help each other when a member or their child is sick'' Awa says.
The World Vision-initiated saving group, has been an opportunity for group members to address the well-being of children. This was the case of Awa Diarra: ''The Saving group helped me realize my dream of seeing my children study without difficulty. The school is located at 3 kilometers from the village, many children in our village drop out of school because of the distance. The bikes of my children were down, my savings allowed me to easily repair their bikes. Now my children go very easily to school especially during these hot periods, it has been a great joy for them and me''.
In addition to her enormous contribution to her children’s education, Awa improves her market gardening activities with the savings she makes: "I plan to deepen my well in my garden with the rest of the funds I have received. This will allow me to increase my income with the sale of the products of the garden, it will help pay the schooling fees of my children, ensure their food, contribute to the household expenses to help my husband and especially save even more to have more money during next sharing", says Awa.
''The savings groups have been a light for my whole community. All the women are radiant and content with the funds they have mobilized and received, because more and more we are becoming financially independent, we help our husbands with the expenses of the family" Awa concludes.