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Video: Fatou Ali gets economic independence

Central African Republic, September 9, 2009

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Hello, my name is Fatou Ali, I'm in Central African Republic.

Today, I found economic independence by getting credit, which allowed me to start a business.

Previously, I led a quiet life with my husband. He had a garage (car repair shop) which allowed him to care for his household by buying food and clothing and paying for health care and schooling for the children. But then life got hard because the repair shop failed. With the little money I had, I tried to start a business, but it didn't work because I lacked the capital I needed. With the advent of Mercy Corps' program here, I discussed our situation with my husband who allowed me to join one of the Village Savings and Loan (VSL) groups.

Thanks to Mercy Corps, I received a loan that has allowed me to trade. Now I sell corn flour and sugar which provides me with an income.

Today I can support my family by providing food for our table, schooling for the kids, and being able to pay for their health care and clothing.

This experience has given me the courage to speak with other Muslim women and encourage them to discuss their business ideas with their husbands. Other women that join VSL groups can benefit from credit like I did, to develop an income generating activity for the good of their household and the future of their children.

I strongly urge other Muslim women to join community groups and enjoy benefits such as the credit I received which has served me well. Thank you.

My name is Fatou Ali, I'm in Bouar in Central African Republic.