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Imani*, shopkeeper and active member of a village association


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In October 2020, the ACF SMPS-GP team receives Imani as part of the management of psychotrauma in the locality of Mazi.

Aged 33, Imani is a married woman with 6 children. She lives with her family in Mazi village. Before the arrival of this difficult situation which is the insecurity caused by the organized armed groups (GAO), she lived easily with her family, because they were well off in material goods. Her spouse was going to Nigeria in search of laborer activities. She, in her turn, was busy with rural activities and animal husbandry, accompanied and supported by her children. At that time, the harvests were abundant because the planting was also important: everything was wonderful, she says.

Today, it's just the opposite because life has become more and more difficult.


“Before, plots of arable land were cheaper and it was easy to find a field to rent. With a sum of 3000 FCFA, you could have 1 quarter of a hectare to cultivate and reassuring productivity. In 2009, I had to cultivate 1 quarter and I harvested eight bags of red millet. But currently, finding a field becomes problematic, because the demography has increased given the number of displaced people and moreover, the harvest is not at all satisfactory. Our lands are fully exploited. With 1 cultivated quarter, you only obtain a bag and a half of millet for example; it's not galvanizing at all. »

In addition, her husband no longer has access to his work areas due to insecurity. Faced with this situation of economic precariousness, the harmony once present within the couple has disappeared; conflicts reign all the time. Imani also points out that the fact that they go to sleep in the mountains every night to get to safety exposes her and her whole family to various diseases, such as malaria and coughs because they sleep in the open air._cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_


Imani therefore feels enormous discouragement, no longer has the taste for anything and does not feel the psychic strength to undertake initiatives to try to get out of the precarious economic situation in which she finds herself. She can no longer send her children to school as before, and even medical care is difficult to resolve, hence her anxiety.


The SMPS-GP team offers Imani a group follow-up to help him regain confidence in his potential and his ability to implement viable projects. Work around his self-esteem was therefore implemented throughout the follow-up sessions.

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Also she was able to make the link between her past, her present and her future, which allowed her to manage to develop again as before, ideas of Income Generating Activity (IGA) that she could carry out.


Today, thanks to the AGR that she has set up, which consists of making "bayam-sellam", that is to say "buying goods wholesale and reselling them in detail" such as: corn, peanuts, cowpea, millet, poultry every day from the roadside market, she already plans to pay her children's school fees. Her husband encourages her and is already following the good example, she says, by looking for an IGA that he too can set up.


Currently a member of the Association Villageoise d'Epargne et de Crédit (AVEC) set up within her monitoring group, she produces savings, which she wishes to invest very soon to diversify her income:


“I can make a profit of 5 to 6 thousand francs when the market is good”.


His marital relationship has improved, and the arguments are much less regular. She admits to having resented her husband when their finances deteriorated, but thanks to the support, she understood that nothing was her husband's fault, and that instead of waiting for it to be necessarily him the provider of funds, that she too could be a strong link in dealing with her family's difficulties.

Words of thanks continue to be addressed to the SMPS team and the RESILAC project in these terms: 


“Thanks to your support, I got back on the right path. Now, with the little that I bring back, my family has become united again, we eat our fill and I manage to save a little. The balance I had lost returned to normal. It is now that I understand this adage which often says: "Man is nothing without his fellow man, you taught me how to catch fish, even in your absence, I will know what to use it for, to meet my needs. Thanks to the SMPS team”.

If ever, everything goes ahead, she plans to open a small restaurant at the crossroads of Mazi in a few months.

*Name has been changed.

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