Solidarity group of microfinance borrowers

Wisline Nelson

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A Leader in Health Training

center chiefWhile Wisline Nelson has considerable praise for Fonkoze, her strongest endorsement speaks louder than words. Not only does she instruct her family and fellow Solidarity group members in the health training she receives as a center chief, she is also helping Fonkoze form a new credit center in order to serve more women in Lenbe.

Married with a three-year old daughter, part of Wisline’s health training involves learning how to prepare food for her family. She focuses on providing her daughter with nutritious food to ensure that she remains healthy.

She also has the responsibility of sharing health information with her fellow group members during their monthly meetings. “I love the health program because it helps all of us together,” she says. “I give my members a lot of information. I explain everything to them, and they are happy because they learn so much in the program.”

Wisline’s primarily activity as a Fonkoze member remains engaging in commerce as a ti machann. She sells pepe (secondhand American goods, primarily clothing) and also has a small shop where she sells various food products and other goods. “Commerce is something I really enjoy,” she says.

She has made significant progress since joining Fonkoze’s Solidarity Group program in 2010. She now takes loans of $375, five times the $75 amount she started out with. “I’ve progressed with this credit, and I’d like to continue to take more [loans] and make greater profits,” Wisline says of her plans for the future.

While she and her husband have been able to purchase a TV together with their combined income, they still see room for improvement in their life. Their house is not yet as solid as they would like, but, she says, “We’re making an effort.”

Wisline is also taking part in Fonkoze’s expansion program that relies on center chiefs to help open new credit centers. While there is financial compensation involved, Wisline sums up her motivation simply: “I want to open another center because Fonkoze is a good thing.”

She describes Fonkoze’s role in her life: “Even though I have a husband, Fonkoze is like my husband because it gives me advice and supports me.

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