Hawa Sesay, Girls Speak Out beneficiary

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Hawa Sesay, age 52

5 children in her care: aged 13, 10, 9, 4 and 2 years à  the eldest three are enrolled in school

Situation before business grant: Things were very tough for Hawa. She struggled to provide the basic materials to enable her children to go to school. She could not afford the fees for her children to attend extra classes which they needed to progress in school.

Situation after grant: Through the profit she has made from her grant Hawa can now afford to pay for extra tuition, meaning that some of her children have been able to progress to the next grade. Those who haven’t are still working at it, and she believes with enough encouragement they will succeed.

Her business: Hawa has set up a condiments shop at her home selling a variety of products including palm oil, onions, rice, paper, and sugar. She stocks her shop with products in high demand, and if she doesn't have a product when her customers ask, she makes a note to stock it in the future so that she can build a regular customer base. Through this business model, Hawa has been able to generate a stable income. She also works alongside Street Child’s Business Officers to add weekly profits to her savings collection, which she can then collect at the end of the month to reinvest in her business. For those larger investments, Hawa has joined a women’s money borrowing organisation called Slick, in which the members share money among themselves, and return with interest when they can.

Hassamatu, aged 9, is Hawa’s eldest child. Previously, she was struggling to progress in school and needed extra tuition to help her move into the next grade. Since the success of Hawa’s business, and the extra schooling and school materials Hawa can now afford for her, Hassamatu has now moved into grade 4.

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