Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Mme Sarr at her house in the neighborhood of Parcelles Assainies, about an hour away from Central Dakar. Mme Sarr lives with her mother, her two sons and her daughter, as well as two brothers and their respective wifes and children.
Mme Sarr is very proud to be one of the first Zidisha borrowers in Senegal. Since her workshop was demolished she has been working from home. Mme Sarr employs a tailor, Mr. Maguette Olle Ndoye, who does most of the sowing. Mr. Ndoye is pictured smiling next to Mme Sarr’s new sowing machine.
Mme Sarr used part of her most recent loan to buy her new Singer 2OU33 sowing machine, which she uses to produce traditional Senegalese dresses, or boubous, using a technique called ‘Pakistani embroidery’, which yields higher quality products. Clients now come to her house to admire her boubous and place orders. Two of her nieces were very eager to be photographed wearing them; their pictures are included below.
Mme Sarr has also started to make ‘ecosacs’ for a local NGO which is planning to commercialize them. Ecosacs are devices made of polyester and tissue that are used to save gaz. A pot with boiling water and rice can be taken out of the fire and put inside the ecosac where the food will continue to cook until it’s done. When the ecosac is closed tightly around the pot, it keeps the heat in. Mme Sarr is provided the materials, and earns 8,000 FCFA (16$) for each completed ecosac. She’s made some 70 of them over the past two months and she is hoping for bigger orders.
In the future, Mme Sarr hopes to be able to buy the equipment necessary to produce using more techniques, including ‘petit fil’ and ‘gros fil’. She would like a big workshop downtown, with many employees, from which to produce and market her attractive boubous.
Client Relationship Manager