Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali

by AGILE-International
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Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali
Drill 2 wells for 186 women farmers in Mali

AGILE International and Djimi Djama collaboration goes from Model to Execution 

Greeting dear, friends. 

First, we hope that you and your families are well and safe! 

An African proverb says “When two goats fight, the winner is likely to be the one with its back against the wall” In other words, Support Matters! Thank you for having our back!!  

Thanks to you, we report on three of our major achievements. 

Achievement #1 

The Collaboration between AGILE International and Djimi Djama has begun. 

Moving from model to execution is something that large businesses struggle with let alone a tiny startup. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that AGILE International and Djimi Djama have embarked on their collaboration journey.  

As a reminder, while AGILE International's overall goal is to create a prosperous, equitable, sustainable local community, none of that is possible without access to the local and global markets. DJIMI DJAMA (pronounced Jimi Jama) that we founded roughly one and a half years ago, has the mission to advance AGILE International's goals and to connect authentic African goods to the local and global markets in one online shopping experience. Besides, the revenue generated by Djimi Djama will help fund AGILE International's core programs such as education, food security, capacity building, women empowerment and inclusion, research, and innovation, entrepreneurial skill development, jobs creations, and many more.  

Collaboration in action: The success story of Awa and her mother Alima! 

Awa and Alima both based in Mali, are two of our many successful and ongoing stories. Married with six kids, one boy, and 5 girls, Alima has never been to school. The income she and her husband earned wasn’t enough to support her or her children. The entire family was at risk and was suffering. We accepted Alima’s daughter Awa in our AGILE-International's women empowerment program. Awa had dropped out of school to be married but was divorced shortly after.  AGILE International trained Awa to go meet other girls in similar situations, to brainstorm about causes leading to school dropouts to possible solutions for those problems, and to suggest new opportunities appropriate for the community. The training got Awa thinking differently and interested in education, product sourcing, handbag design, color stabilization, quality control, and sales. 

Djimi Djama hired Awa as an independent contractor to traveled to neighboring countries of Mali such as Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Senegal to source diverse ethnic textile for manufacturing of Djimi Djama handbags sold in art fairs, home parties, and trade shows. The income Awa earned at Djimi Djama complemented her mother, Alima’s income. Alima who was not involved with AGILE International or Djimi Djama focused on selling Mali’s local grain called “Fonio”. Alima would steam the Fonio to make a popular dish called Diouka (looks like couscous), and sell it on a busy street corner. Awa navigated between product sourcing, handbag making activities, and helping her mother make diouka for sale. In the meantime, in America, I developed the Djimi Djama marketplace and salesforce. 

Awa learned to work for Djimi Djama and to assist her mother alternatively. She inspired three of her sisters to join Alima to make and sell diouka. After Alima's years of consistent effort of selling Diouka, and the addition of more workforce, the diouka business gained a bigger client base, created three sales sites, employed at least 10 people, used at least 200 pounds of Fonio a day, and earned a gross income of at least $700 DAILY. But we faced a problem! 

Achievement #2 

With no background in managing money, Alima had no bank account or control over the money that came in or went out. AGILE International just accepted Alima in its Street Business Innovation program, a branch of AGILE's entrepreneurial skill development. This program would help Alima and her family organize, improve, and manage her business process. This was where our achievement #2, the Street Business Innovation kicked in. 

As you see, Awa and Alima are an example of AGILE-International and Djimi Djama's successful collaboration. While AGILE International provides skill development, capacity building, and food production, Djimi Djama provides access to the market and funding. 

Achievement #3 

The other part of Djimi Djama's mission to connect African products to the local and global market went live in October 2020 online at https://djimidjama.com. 

This is being rolled out in three phases. 

Phase #1 The markets in North America (Canada, USA, and Mexico). This is now until the end of 2021. 

Phase #2 Africa Engaging Africa will begin in January 2022 and goes to December 2022.

Phase #3 begins in January 2023. Djimi Djama will serve globally.

TESTIMONIAL

"It’s great to see how these two entities now each has clearly defined purposes and missions, yet are connected to one another at the core.

Good work!!”  

-Anne Elgerd

Collective Capital Philanthropy

 THE TWO WELLS!!

This incredible project will become a bigger dream project with your generous support! Whatever you can do! Shop with us at https://djimidjama.com, donate, get involved by volunteering with us, share our information with others, send us feedback, comment! We need these wells more and more every day that goes by. 

With these wells, the village women will continuously produce exactly what Alima needs to make and sell her diouka. What a WIN-WIN for the women in Mali! Even more exciting is that the model is replicable. 

We look forward to reporting to you in three months!

Happy and safe holiday season!

Warm regards,

Fatou and AGILE-Internationa/Djimi Djama Team

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Greetings dear AGILE friends!!

We hope that this report finds you well. We’re glad to inform you that your contribution continues to work for the women in West Africa.

While access to water remains our priority, we continuously take small steps that make our team resilient and more efficient without losing sight of the mission. Our mission is to provide food security, empower women, and ensure entrepreneurial skills development for a more prosperous and peaceful community. Please find attached a report of our activities thanks to your generous and encouraging support.

Together, we’re heading the right direction and making lasting impacts.

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Dear Friends,

We're excited to give you an update on our activities and on some of the progress that we’ve made with your support over the recent periods. These have been detailed in the attached Timeline and April 2020 Update documents, which I’ve attached for your review. As you’ll see, those documents include both photographic as well as factual information regarding our progress to give you a better context for our activities.

As you are likely aware, in addition to your generous support, one of our key objectives has been to generate funds entrepreneurially in order to both optimize our opportunities to aid our target groups, as well as to create employment opportunities within them. Our successes in both regards are addressed in the attached.

We look forward to your feedback.

Thank you for your past support, and for your future counsel or contributions that you may be able to provide.

Best regards,

 

Fatou

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AGILE International’s MISSION is to empower rural women while returning Mali and West Africa to food security.

 The Challenge 

Women and girls in Mali are challenged by property rights and access to land. Traditionally, only men owned land. We believe that our relentless focus on land rights for women is a critical factor in addressing diminished food supply, unemployment, and local and sustainable development. 

Our Unique Solution 

AGILE International creates access to land for women which provides income-generation opportunities through food. This allows them to gain access to education, achieve economic autonomy, feed and shelter their families, increase bargaining power at home and in the marketplace, and move toward gender equality. Every program participant is paid, differentiating AGILE International from other nonprofit models.

I would like you to hear about Wassa

Wassa, 32, is a mother of six children. She was prematurely married at the tender age of 16 years old. Her first three children are girls who never attended school, while the last three are boys who are currently going to school. 

Before joining AGILE, Wassa would transport water on her head to construction sites. The revenue she raised would be used for her family. This was hard, risky, and the income insufficient to support her family. This is harder for girls as their education is compromised because they are forced to work to help support the family. Yet, Wassa's has found hope and a future with Agile International. The rest of her story will help you understand the strides we are making to improve life in Sanankoroba.

After joining AGILE, Wassa was exposed to ideas of collaboration with other women in the program. The women brainstormed about what activities brought the most income and at the same time allowed them to feed their families. These activities turned out to be growing beans and peanuts. Despite the fact that AGILE farms still rely on the rainy season, Agile clients find that the benefit of harvesting the new crops far exceeds earnings from transporting water and is safer. Wassa also learned that she could invest her excess income in local fruits to sell on the street. Wassa quickly realized that she now is a double income earner, an opportunity she never had before. 

In her video, Wassa underscores the importance of being able to gather and brainstorm. All of these created a sense of confidence and hope in the fight to improve the community and create a better future for the women in Sanankoroba and the community in general. 

Additionally, six women including Awa, Satou, Kita, Waraba, Mariam, and Kadi, coming from the nations of Mali and Senegal were engaged in job training by AGILE on how to make AGILE designed African handbags to be sold on the market in USA in order to fund AGILE operations. 

This allows these women to earn income and raise funds to help complement our donors’ effort to drill two wells on the farm for Wassa and other Sanakoroba area women. 

This training has been ongoing, and in one year, AGILE has trained the ladies to upgrade the initial bag design at least 30 times. We are dedicated to continuous improvement and seek to be the best on the market and to ensure continuous income source to fund our program.

 We believe that those creating value should benefit from it. That’s why empowering women through access to land, water, electricity, healthy food, and education will ensure a win-win for the whole community.  

Because of your generous support, from June to September, AGILE was able to expand our inventory by an additional 200 purses.  Our viable product line provides us with an ongoing source of revenue into the future.  

My travel to Mali and Senegal in March and April allowed me to work directly with the ground team to help upgrade the design of our handbags and our work environment. As a result, best practice on the ground continues to improve, and so does the quality of our handbags. We also enhanced their functions and we have received great feedback from our customers. Our beautiful, handmade, quality purses are being sold in four Colorado stores! We have participated in six events and hope to be in at least 25 stores by December 2018.

Ways to Help Right Now!
1. We are looking for volunteers to tend our booths during this busy season of festivals. The season has already started and we could use at least two volunteers.
2. To attain our goal of being in 25 stores, we’ll love your suggestions for what cities, county fairs, high-end gift shops, accessory shops, active/outdoor shops, any place that’ll attract women. Please send me an email at fatousmd@gmail.com. We are willing to travel out of state.
3. We are currently looking for a van to travel to different shows to sell the purses. If you know anyone who has an extra used car, we would appreciate getting the referral.
4. Purchase handbags! https://agile-international.org/store/
5. Those of you who purchased our bags, please provide feedback for improvements you’d like to see. Email fatou@agile-international.org

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This drone lesson is AGILE farm
This drone lesson is AGILE farm

Dear friends, 

Hello and Happy Memorial weekend! 

Sometimes, it's better to hear it from a different point of view. Please see this testimonial from the ground in Mali.

I am sharing with you a letter from my friend and partner to another friend.

"Hi Meg and Jess.

My name is Hank DeBey and a friend of yours, Fatou Doumbia, is a dear friend of mine. Fatou is with me here in Bamako. She was the first person to tell me about Mali and four years ago, shortly after speaking with Fatou, I moved to Bamako.

Fatou also introduced me to Posner a few months ago. Since then, we have been discussing the Posner mission and how a similar mission in Mali is vital to the needs of Malians and the development people who work in Mali.

Some background: I was born and raised in the triangle bordered by Loveland, Greeley and Ft. Collins. Not quite a Denver kid but close. I earned my engineering degree at San Jose State University and soon after graduating, I took a job in Africa and have spent 29 years working outside of the States with ten of those years in Africa. I have founded and managed technology companies in seven countries, learning valuable lessons about working across cultural divides.

I mention my technical bent because I believe technology is an essential component for African progress. Not technology that is imported from outside the continent but technology that is given birth and matured in Africa.

I live and work with young Malians and their passion to build a new Africa is palpable but their passion needs to be supported with education and resources.

As just one example, returning members of the Malian diaspora frequently express to me their frustration from having experienced a life out of Mali while also having a burning desire to accelerate Mali’s entry into the twenty-first century. They have seen good schools, healthy kids, sufficient food and decent infrastructure. They know that with hard work, these things will be possible in Mali and the goals of these Malians can be achieved more quickly with participation from the international development community.

Here are some statistics about Mali.
1. Mali usually ranks in the lowest 5 of the poorest nations on earth.
2. Bamako, the capital city of 2 million, is the fastest growing city in Africa.
3. Over half of Mali's 18 million people are under the age of 16.
4. Per capita, a Malian consumes 30% less food per day than a person in the USA.
5. Mali is fractured by hostilities in the North.
6. The United Nations mission, MINUSMA, is the most dangerous UN mission in the world.

Number 6 might be a justification for some NGOs to stay out of Mali but many NGOs realize that this is a time in Mali's development when outside help is needed the most.

New NGOs are setting up in Mali and the ones that are here, are expanding. A collaboration center with space to rent like what Posner offers in Denver would be very welcome.

 People like Fatou who came for two weeks to strengthen her organization would be able to arrive and get to work immediately instead of spending their precious time seeking out simple things like Internet connectivity, office space, and meeting rooms. Hopefully, I facilitated Fatou's visit but there are many more Fatous who don't have similar contacts in Bamako.

I’ll keep this short for now but let Fatou and me know if you would like to hear more about our plans.

Best regards,

Hank"

 Please see our collaboration video. An updated new video is on its way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3dB_Nhcgio&list=UU-OCXqx1J2vQkk0h-hdUr_Q

Official AGILE farm property coordinates collected using byHank’s drone in Mali

 Northwest 12.37543, -7.93101

Northeast 12.37565, -7.92814

Southeast 12.37475, -7.92788

Southwest 12.37444, -7.93095

Please stay tuned for more update on my trip to Africa and in the USA here.

Thank you for sending this project and program on its way to success!

My warmest and sincere regards,

Fatou

Drone collecting data in AGILE farm
Drone collecting data in AGILE farm
Fatou and some of AGILE trainees working together
Fatou and some of AGILE trainees working together
Awa and daughter help make purses.
Awa and daughter help make purses.
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Organization Information

AGILE-International

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AgileWestAfrica
Project Leader:
Fatou Doumbia
Boulder, CO United States
$6,865 raised of $50,000 goal
 
62 donations
$43,135 to go
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