The Rotary Club in Bo, Sierra Leone has recently joined with TCP Global & CASE SALONE to provide micro-loans to local business women. Pictured above are members of the Bo Rotary Club in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
TCP Global is an affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association. Case Salone (Salone is a local term for Sierra Leone) works to keep adolescent girls in school, and focuses on gender, entrepreneurship, microfinance, environmental protection and agriculture.
Rassie Bah (above photo) is President of the Rotary Club of Bo and also head of CASE SALONE. In a recent CASE SALONE project, parents of 500 children saved funds to ensure they would be able to pay for school materials. Through this project, Rassie discovered that many of the mothers were successful business women who lacked access to seed capital to expand their businesses.
The loan program in Bo is called the BAMBAWI PROJECT. In Krio (pidgin or broken English) “Bamba wi” means to carry someone on your back, or in other words, to help an individual or group.  Rassie learned about TCP Global through Rotary and recognized that a partnership with TCP would help borrowers expand their businesses and become self sufficient. CASE SALONE conducts visits to see how the borrowers are coping with their businesses and the challenges they face. They also put systems in place to make sure that the borrowers keep good records. The borrowers have existing businesses such as shop trading, table market, medical drug, street trading, and cloth trading.
The women are organized in groups of 5, with leadership roles assigned. Borrowers share experiences and discuss any issues that may arise at their monthly meetings. Below is a photo of some of the business women getting the loans.
The CASE SALONE effort has been quite successful and as a result, a 2nd Sierra Leone loan program opened on October 27th through the Houston Rotary connection.