We recently had a loan distribution event where dozens of local farmers received a loan to assist with the planting of their fields as the rainy season progresses. We have been doing this program for over 10 years and have experienced life-changing results for many involved. With over a thousand loans going out over the years, we have had about a 98% pay back rate!
This is Ibrahima Gueye, a farmer who lives in the village of Keur Diene, near Keur Soce. He is a father of eight, four boys and four girls. We recently sat down with him to ask him about his participation in our microloan program. Many of these farmers cannot afford the inputs to plant their fields, or end up going to exploitative lenders who then eat up all the profits they might have gained. With Andando’s no-interest loans, people are able to keep what they earn and begin to emerge from this cycle of poverty.
“Andando has been instrumental in this area, not only through this financing plan, but also in the areas of health, education, and agriculture.
This past year I received a loan of $100. With these funds increased my farmable land to 1.5 hectares [approx. 3.7 acres] by having it plowed. This cost about $40. From there, I used $15 to buy watermelon seeds, and the rest of the money went toward other inputs to build up the other maize fields I had planted. That is how I spent the money, then I worked the fields and waited.
It was incredible, because after the season, I earned over $800 by selling the watermelons and sold 10 bags of maize for $200. This means that I had an overall income of $1,000 during the overwintering period, and it is directly thanks to the loan that brought me all this output and great returns. In addition, I also kept nine bags of maize for my family's sustenance during the dry period. So, the loan has brought me a lot of economic change, but also sociological, by contributing to my dignity, my being and the improvement of my income.
This project has been very beneficial for us and our community. It is helping us to be more sustainable in our lives. We must in turn make this program sustainable by always respecting the time of payment of our loans, think about our material and financial empowerment, and then Andando could develop new programs to allow others to benefit from the loan.
I want to thank Andando very much, because this is the second time I have received a loan. I thank the whole Andando team and staff for working for the success of the project and the commune of Keur Soce."
From all of us at Andando, thank you for supporting these life-changing programs.