Dreams for Her Children’s Future


During the rainy season, Haoua Tao and her family used to travel to the gold mines near their village in Burkina Faso with the hope of finding enough gold to bring them out of extreme poverty.

Haoua, 25, entered into an arranged marriage at 17 years old. She and her husband did not have the means to support their two children and their small farm did not provide enough food for the whole year, leaving Haoua with two options: search for gold or borrow from moneylenders. Loans often have exorbitant interest rates, but gold mining is often a gamble, and families can work for several days without finding anything.


Before joining Trickle Up’s program, Haoua had no business experience and had never received training that would help her start a successful income-generating activity. She tried to sell dried fish to make some extra cash, but with limited resources, her business was not productive enough to even help her family meet basic needs.


After joining a Trickle Up savings group, Haoua received training in how to start and run a small business and was given a seed capital grant to jumpstart her enterprise. Today, she makes a $0.59 (360 CFA) profit on every package of dried fish she sells and usually must return to the market within two days to purchase more supplies. Haoua’s goal is to accumulate enough working capital to buy several kilograms of dried fish at a time.


In addition, Haoua is diversifying her activities so her income is more sustainable and her family is more resilient to shocks. She plans to invest some of her earnings in expanding the family’s farm, and she has started making and selling pastries too. She’s found that she can make a 12.5% return on her investment in her pastry business.

With her profits, Haoua plans to help her husband with the cost of sending their children to school. She also plans to further increase her savings.

She hopes that one day her children will become officials in their village, bringing pride to their family and community, and a secure income to provide for their families.


Before the program, Haoua Tao was ashamed of her family’s limited resources. If other women from the village gathered together for a baptism, she would avoid going because she didn’t have any money to give, as it is custom in her village to contribute around $0.32 (200 CFA). Now, she tells us that even if she was expected to give five times that amount, she is no longer afraid or ashamed to join in community celebrations. Her financial success has brought her the confidence and pride to become an active part of her community.

 Haoua Tao of Tebla, Burkina Faso