Salamata Bagua, a Yikri beneficiary in Burkina Faso
Salamata Bagua is supported by Yikri, Entrepreneurs du Monde social microfinance program in Burkina Faso. She testifies.
“Raised in a family where we had plenty to eat, I had a happy childhood. However, I did not go to school and at 12 years old, I started to sell pancakes, doughnuts and boiled yam.
Long and harsh years
My grandfather promised my hand in marriage before I was even born. At 17 years old, I joined my husband in Ivory Coast and helped him with his plantation. But my husband became paralyzed in his lower limbs so we left the country in 2009. Unfortunately, my husband went back to Ivory Coast because of the crisis here, and I had to stay by myself with my children at my brother-in-law’s house, in the village of Padré.
I then sold fried food and fish for 5 years. Sadly, the death of two of my kids within a month was very disheartening and I fled with my other children to my brother’s house, at Rimkieta.
To make a living to feed everyone, I washed clothes, sold some sand and split wood. I managed to save enough money to buy a plot at Marcoussi and build a house where I could live independently with the kids. My husband’s health was getting worse and worse, so he came back home for good, but he can hardly work.
Stability with my chosen business at last!
In 2015, I launched myself into catering and YIKRI helped me a lot!
In 3 years, I received five loans of between 80,000 and 540,000 CFA (around €120 to €820), that enabled me to open my restaurant by building a kiosk and a stock room/kitchen, and buying tables, chairs, crockery and cookware. Gradually the clientele grew, I diversified my menus and increased my profits.
With courage, determination, and an ability to plan, I have succeeded!
I built two small houses. I can now look after my husband, my daughter Mary and 2 teenagers who are helping me at the restaurant, 4 grandchildren of whom 3 are at school, and my two sons who are studying (one is in tenth grade and the other is doing professional electrical training). My eldest son works in his father’s plantation and often sends me money. Finally, my daughter Lea is married and is doing professional dressmaking training.
Great results don’t stop there!
I am the vice-president of the Wend Nongdo association that advocates sharing knowledge and helping each other, which are very important attributes to me.
I have helped a neighbour who was in financial difficulty after the death of her husband: I gave her what she needed to start selling condiments. Now she has enough to feed and educate her children as well! I would also like to help my daughter Marie to open her own restaurant so that she too can succeed and prosper.”
* Attiéké : culinary speciality based on manioc.
** Yikri : Burkina Faso social microfinance institution founded and incubated by Entrepreneurs du Monde.