African Diaspora, Black Women in Europe

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Thank you for supporting an entrepreneur in Senegal.

Dear Kiva Lender, Hello from Senegal!


Thank you so much for making a loan to a borrower in Senegal. As a Kiva Fellow who has spent the past four months meeting with borrowers and helping to advance Kiva‘s mission here in Senegal, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the recipients of your loans, who are some of the most hard-working, welcoming people I’ve ever met.


Through my visits, I’ve heard about many difficulties that borrowers in this country face, and I’ve also heard many success stories.


I met with Anna, the representative for a group of borrowers who raise livestock in a small village. She said that her Kiva loan offers her and her fellow borrowers a longer loan term than most other loans she could get, which makes a huge difference when your business takes some time to mature – literally!


I met with Mbeye, a fisherman who usually starts his day at 5 or 6 in the morning, and finishes as late as 8 or 9 in the evening. He’s using his Kiva loan to build a second fishing boat in his spare time, and he will use it to expand his fishing business.


Many borrowers I met with, including Aissatou, Bineta and Maimouna work in “petit commerce,” for which there’s not a great English equivalent, but retail comes close. They sell various goods in their neighborhood markets, but they frequently change what they’re selling to adapt to changes in demand. So, someone might sell carbon for cook stoves one week and then vegetables the next, but also sell breakfasts outside her home on weekday mornings. Many of these women work at the local market all morning, return home around midday to make lunch for their families, and go right back to the market afterward. I can’t possibly imagine cooking a meal for a family of 8 on my lunch break, so I was in awe.


I met with a group of women, including Awa and Fatou (featured above), who live in a seaside village and make their livelihood from smoking and drying fish. As a lover of smoked fish, I asked to see their work and they took me on a tour of the town’s fish smoking operations. From the area where they buy fresh fish to the grills where they cook it to racks where they leave it to dry for several days in the sun to the smokers, it was so interesting to learn about all the different steps in the process. Afterward, they invited me to join them for a lunch that included fish they had smoked – it was delicious!


I hope this update gives you a taste of the stories and successes of the borrowers you’ve lent to. It was a pleasure to meet all of them, and I thank you, on their behalf, for the loans that have helped to make their successes possible.


If you wish to keep contributing to the growth of Senegalese borrowers, join the Black Women in Europe Kiva Team today!


Best, Anneka Nelson Kiva Fellow Class 29

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