Noukou, a ASSILASSIME beneficiary in the Togo
From street food to weaving
Noukou, in Togo“I grew up in Bassar with my brothers and sisters. I went to school until I was about 15, but then I got pregnant and had to stop.
When I turned 20, I decided to get a divorce. I then started selling food in the street to earn money, but I had trouble meeting my needs and those of my child. After a few years, I decided to change jobs and moved to Lomé. I took knitting and macramé bag weaving classes. Little by little, I developed a skill and became recognised for it. Today, I teach at the School of Social Affairs at the University of Lomé and in secondary schools.
I have always considered weaving as a secondary activity. And very quickly, I tried to diversify my skills. A friend taught me the technique of making Kpévidi, a local soap. I used my savings to buy the raw materials: red oil, caustic soda, perfume, etc. Of course, I wanted to continue to weave and teach, but I also wanted to sell my soaps, privately and wholesale! My children helped me and I also have an employee who I pay CFA 1,800 (€3) per session.
A situation that remained fragile for a long time
Although my income had improved, I often faced financial difficulties: I paid for my children’s school fees alone and I suffered from health problems. Assilassimé provided training and loans. A few years ago, I heard about Assilassimé*. My friends and I created the «Novissi» group and have since benefited from training and microloans. Now, I can buy the oil when the price is at its lowest and save money. I also learnt how to manage my finances better, save energy and take care of my health.
Financing my children’s higher education!
My activity is growing and my daily life has improved. I managed to save CFA 280,000 (€427), and that money helped me to finance a BTS qualification for two of my children. I was also able to cover my medical expenses when I was hospitalised. I found the strength to succeed in my love for my children. I’m very proud of them, they are respectful, intelligent and hardworking!”