Having the Strength to Overcome Poverty

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My name is Mrs. Lénindou Agbognihoue. I have six children and my husband passed away in June 2009. Before his death, my husband was physically disabled and a burden on me and my children.

I joined the The Hunger Project's Microfinance Program (MFP) at Ouissi Epicenter in Benin in 2003 with seven other women partners. I am currently Ready Madam Chair of our group.

The amount of my last loan was 150,000 francs (US$300). With all of my loans, I invest in gari and tapioca (foods prepared from cassava). The added income allows me to finance vocational training (apprenticeships) for my children, schooling for my three younger children and provide for my own basic needs.

It is because of the lessons I learned from Vision, Commitment and Action workshops (VCAWs) at the epicenter that I had the courage and strength to take care of myself and the future of my children. I accepted that poverty is not inevitable and I managed to overcome the difficulties that arose.

The MFP funds are very important for us women because they are granted at a very low rate and allow us to improve the quality of what we eat, dress better and above all care for our children. My wish, which is the wish of all the women in Ouissi, is to see the MFP create a revolving loan fund in Dassa, where business activity is more developed, so that we women could have greater access to credit.

I am very pleased to be a partner of THP-Benin.

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