The story of Sita and her women’s group
This story speaks to the power of the collective as well as the strength that can come from a cohesive group. It goes beyond the tale of one mother who was touched by the Ji Ni Beseya project; it’s about women coming together to change the future for themselves and their families.
"Respecting and caring for one other"
Sita honed her social entrepreneur skills through the Ji Ni Beseya project, which benefits from financial and technical support by the One Drop Foundation.
With support from our partners in the field (WaterAid Mali, Centre Culturel Kôrè, CARP, AMASBIG, APROFEM, ALPHALOG, as well as the communes of Kati Cercle and Bla Cercle), we believe in the powerful synergy created through 1) providing access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, 2) promoting healthy behaviours, and 3) supporting activities that generate income and market-oriented solutions. Access, Behaviour Change, and Capital form the foundation of our A•B•C for SustainabilityTM model.
In addition to helping Sita and dozens of women and young people in rural areas refine their relational skills and lay the groundwork for financial independence, the project also gave these Leaders of Change the skills they need to maintain and eventually repair the three wells built in their commune, keep clean the washrooms that were installed in their homes, as well as purchase soap and other hygiene products. Ji Ni Beseya not only helped people prevent potential disease, but it also passed along the know-how they require keep the project’s interventions and infrastructure sustainable.
“I went to school until grade 5, but I was forced to drop out when I got married. Later on, I had the opportunity to enrol in literacy programs and I was recruited to teach literacy to other women in the community. My husband, myself, and my family farm to sustain ourselves. If we want money, we have to sell some of our harvest. But we don’t have a lot to spare.
I decided to join the women’s group because we’re stronger together. We can earn income and create partnerships when we come together as a group. When I joined up, I was asked to be the group’s secretary. I am proud of what we do!
Since joining the group and actively participating in activities, I’ve been trained on social issues, mutual support, and economics. It has helped me a lot. Every member of the group pays dues, which we pool together and then lend in small amounts to one another. These loans help us take care of our problems or fulfil our needs, and each person repays their loan with very little interest.
Before, my husband was the one who paid for most of our family’s expenses. Now, I’m contributing a lot more, and I can pay for things even without my husband’s help. We respect and care for each other.”