Women in Mali are saving $50,000 per year, and they’re doing it 25 cents at a time.

Since 2013, we have helped women in peri-urban communities gather and share their funds by making loans to one another to pay for healthcare expenses, or for small income-generating activiy. They organize savings groups of 15-20 women, elect group leaders, and set rules for contributing and borrowing. The average weekly contribution is about one quarter (25 cents).

“Simply put when money flows into the hands of women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.” – Melinda Gates

When women come together in their communities – they can be an amazing force for change. They are leading the way in finding local, sustainable solutions to improve access to care. They are proving that we can remove burdensome user fees without removing agency.

I decided to become a community health worker seven years ago when poverty was increasing in my community. Children were ill and unable to have adequate healthcare and more mothers were losing children during pregnancies because they received no prenatal care. So I decided to become a part of the solution.

- Sidi Fane, Sikoro