This remarkable personal story was posted by Sylvain Yameogo, one of our earliest members in the desert country of Burkina Faso, West Africa.
The area where I live is called KOUDOUGOU. It is located in the western part of the country, 100km from the capital, Ouagadougou. As stated in this profile, my name if YAMEOGO Weindate Sylvain. I am 24 years old and am the oldest of a family of three children. I lost my father when I was nine, on December 15th 1996. After his death, my mother who was a housekeeper was forced to work even more in order to feed us. Our situation was made even more difficult with my younger brother’s illness. From this point on, I spent the summers working to help my mother and to pay school for my siblings and I.
Our situation did not improve and my mother passed away from a long illness on September 13th 2003. After her death, I took on the responsibility of caring for my younger brother and sister. I continued to attend public school and obtained my license in 2009. After graduating, I enrolled in the geography program at the university level to better support my siblings in their schooling. I chose geography for the ability to quickly obtain a diploma even though my dream was to become a pharmacist. Unfortunately, an extended strike in the geography department affected the availability of classes. It became impossible to attend the regular program within the planned graduation timeframe. This situation was conflicting with my desire to help my brother and sister succeed. So I decided to start a small scale chicken farming business to occupy the free time created by the professor’s absences and the continuous strikes on campus.
More importantly, I made this decision to create a revenue stream allowing me to fulfill my duties of oldest son to support my brother and sister. With the revenue from the enterprise, I am in a better position to provide for my brother and sister, pay for medical appointments and prescription medication for my ill brother. I also buy material needed for my geography training, internet access to be able to visit the Zidisha website, etc. I am very passionate about my small experience in chicken farming and am interested in turning it into a true professional and scientific career.
In my opinion, the Zidisha concept constitutes a good stepping stone. Ambitious entrepreneurs like me don’t always have the opportunity to see our dreams come true since the access to credit is complicated in the country. First and foremost I would like to congratulate Zidisha. If their system didn’t exist it would need to be created. I am very motivated, ready for work and think of myself as an innovator. My hope is to be successful and be seen as a model for generations to come as an inspiration to develop my country and all of Africa.
To view more comments and Mr Yameogo’s original words in French, please visit his Zidisha Microfinance profile page.