This scarf is not made by hand. It’s made by ambition, on a machine, bought with savings, that was earned with profit. It’s made by going further.
Alexice: “Trickle Up means emerging step by step. What would surprise people the most is the transformative effect that our program has on a woman’s life, her family’s life, and on a community’s wellbeing.”
Awa Guiro: “With the money I’ve made from this business, I was able to hire an employee to help me.”
Mariam: “I have 5 employees now to keep up with demand.”
Alexice: “They’re the boss now, yeah.”
Alexice: “A great example of how Trickle Up has helped women impact their own community has been through the savings groups.”
Mariam: “The savings group is powerful. We really became like a family.”
Alexice: “Once the participant agrees to be a part of the program she becomes part of a group of 25 other women.”
Mariam: “We work hard. Most of the time we work alone but in the group we’re more powerful.”
Alexice: “We organize the group, we teach them how to conduct savings meetings and credit meetings allowing these women to have very basic and essential financial services putting money aside, saving, and able to access loans when they need them, and having very basic insurance.”
Juliette Zida: “There are 25 women in our group, and every week, every member saves 50 cents. I was able to save over 100 dollars, and I have credit of almost 30 dollars.”
Alexice: “It allows women to have a network of other women within their community whenever they’re in a time of need.”
Ouedraogo Fati: “Trickle Up taught us how to make money and how to save money. It also taught us how to solve problems together.”
Mariam: “We have respect for eachother and we help each other. If someone has a problem we’re on her side, good or bad. In happy occasions we’re there and in sad occasions we’re there.”
Alexice: “The other women in the community see the impact it’s had on Trickle Up participants and not only are they curious but they would also like to acquire those skills. A lot of them say ‘we would like to be like them’. And so, other women will approach our savings group and ask them if they can also train them, teach them. So oftentimes our participants pay it forward. They themselves will take from their own savings and help fund other groups.”
Mariam: “It’s very good for the community. It started with our group and now there are three other groups. Before Trickle Up we didn’t have anything. We’re not there yet but we’re getting there. They’re helping us become stronger.”
Alexice: “They start to see the savings group and manage it as a business. It encourages them to make collective investments, for example purchasing a large quantity of grain that they will store and wait for a period where prices rise and then they’ll sell it off and that profit as well as the interest comes back to the group.”
Mariam: “the knowledge we get from Trickle Up is something that we can never lose.”
Alexice: “Most of our groups continue working together, saving together, and continue their meetings even after the program. A lot of them say ‘we started out as 25 women in very difficult situations, today we consider ourselves as one, and we would like your support’ but what they mean by that is just your encouragement because they can now do it for themselves.”
Poverty is isolation. It is hunger and instability. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break. That’s why we work harder. We work smarter on the plan and on the ground. We go further.
Mungli Lohar is a leader in her community. She has partnered with Trickle Up to teach women in her community how to use smartphones to lift them out of poverty.