The Fantsuam Foundation — Further Progress in Zankan
By Cicely Brown (VSO) 2008-10
Since October 2008 when Friends of Nigeria supported Fantsuam’s microfinance team with loans to Zankan, a small community about 25km from Kafanchan, the Fantsuam Foundation’s influence there has grown. This fall twenty individuals from the Zankan II group each collected N40,000 (about $250) having successfully (i.e. unfailingly!) repaid previous cycles. Here are some of their stories:
Forty-eight year old KALO BATURE was eager to answer the question: “How has the loan helped you and the community?” As a pharmacist, Kalo is one of the only healthcare providers in easy access to the village. “The loan has meant that the community is able to enjoy better health services. I can buy more expensive drugs such as cough syrups and strong antibiotics which simply weren’t available before.” It’s also helped to provide income to him and his family which includes seven children.
More capital means more business means more profit. This has given MARTHA DAVID the ability to solve more domestic problems for her extended family of five children and five grandchildren. The loan helped her improve her farm and her storage facilities which gave her enough money to care for a family member who became desperately sick and had to be hospitalised, which is often way beyond the reach of the rural poor. Now she’s focusing on keeping her own high blood pressure under control so she can continue helping her family.
IYA LUKA began her story by saying that the first N5,000 loan she received from Fantsuam felt to her like N500,000. Since then she has progressed. With the last loan alone, she was able to buy grains in quantities that allowed her to make enough profit at market not only to repay the loan but to build enough capital to roof her son’s house that was in danger of collapsing in the rainy season.
As well as farming and rearing pigs, LADI ANDREW sells grains in three local markets – Manchok, Ganawuri, Kagoro. She, like Martha, was able to ensure that her husband recovered fully after being hospitalised after a car accident and was also able to make some repairs to her house to strengthen it against the rainy season.
VICTORIA ADAMU made sure that she told her story before we left. She was brimming over with pride at having used the profit from her loan to pay for her son to attend the Federal Polytechnic in Bauchi where he is taking a Business Secretarial Diploma. As well as selling grains, Victoria keeps livestock, including goats and pigs.