Anne Marie Albert has been a Fonkoze-empowered Ti Machann (Market Woman) for over 25 years – nearly the entirety of the organization’s existence. Throughout the years, Anne Marie has made much progress and has learned a great deal about what she is capable of achieving. Prior to joining Fonkoze’s core micro-lending program, Solidarity, she and her husband at the time just divorced, and Anne Marie found herself in dire straits. “I had no means for living and taking care of my kids,” she remembers. “My life has changed a lot since I started using Fonkoze’s services.”
I’ve borrowed over the years, I have been able to grow my business and really take care of my children. I sell at the market, but I also own a garden, goats and pigs,” she smiles. “I am able to purchase assets that are profitable and provide security for our future.”
Anne Marie participates in Fonkoze’s Solidarity program, which provides joint loans to five women (called a Solidarity group) from a common geographical area. Solidarity lending creates a built-in system of accountability, support and enables women who have already established themselves as micro-entrepreneurs to expand their businesses. Anne Marie’s Solidarity group is called “Tet Ansam” (“putting our heads together”), a name they gave themselves to signify togetherness and collaboration.