Like most others in the village of Gberia Timbakor, Dusuba struggled to meet her family’s necessities––food, shelter, and education. With a husband and six children, her small rice and groundnut farm was not enough to meet those needs. That is, until she joined a SILC group through FRB's Sierra Leone-Koinadugu program. Now, she says, she has overcome all of her obstacles.
Dusuba began participating in SILC three years ago and has seen nothing but success. She currently serves as the chairlady for her group of thirty members and is a highly respected individual in the village. Not only has she been able to consistently feed her family and send her five boys and one girl to school, but she has even been able to construct a brand new house. It features strong brick walls, solid wooden doors, neatly fitting shutters, spacious rooms, and a shiny tin roof. This house not only serves as a shelter for Dusuba’s family, but also as a testament of SILC’s success to others in the village. When others see the newly realized capabilities of Dusuba and others, they are eager to join the savings groups.
Dusuba attributes her success to her ability to sell produce at the optimal time. No longer must she immediately sell her harvest to make a quick, meager profit, but she can wait until demand and prices are high. She is also continually increasing the size of her farm with each new season and is now able to hire laborers to work her land. Furthermore, the profit she makes from selling her crops continues to grow once she invests it in SILC and gains a hefty payout at the end of each cycle. “Had it not been for my involvement in SILC and the Farmer Field School introduced by CRS in our community, this would not have been possible,” she said.
Upon first thanking God for His provisions and blessings, Dusuba thanks and praises CRS and all the supporters who have made SILC a possibility in her village. She says she is a different person today because of the work of CRS. In upcoming years, Dusuba intends to maintain her participation in SILC and to continue to increase her farm production each year. She is very optimistic of what the future holds for her and her family. Who knows, she might even build another house!
by Dallas Nord, FRB volunteer and overseas traveler