Teryia members of the local twinning group in Agassiz/Harrison and Mali were able to raise enough funds to help contribute to the purchase of a multipurpose grinder for the women in the commune of Sanankoro Djitoumou in Mali, West Africa.
A very successful garage sale took place in August after many in our communities learned, through an Observer article, of the Malian women’s hope to empower themselves through the purchase of this grinder. This tool can help improve the quality of their shea butter, which ultimately has the potential to improve not just their own lives, but life within their villages.
Women in both Mali and the Fraser Valley entered into this project as partners, deciding mutually to raise funds together. This grinder, once purchased, can grind both nuts from the shea trees, used globally as a skin cream, and also food cereals such as millet, corn, peanuts and beans.
With the garage sale proceeds, and donations from individuals locally, close to $1,000 was raised. Malian women utilized micro-credit funding to make crafts and sell at local markets, raising enough funds to put almost $400 to the effort.
Together with the funds raised by the Malian women themselves, by the proceeds from the garage sale, and by donations from local Fraser Valley women who learned Teryia was just shy of its goal, $1,400 was raised.
The funds were wired to Mali in early September, and they have contacted their Agassiz Teryia members to let them know that they have received them and are in the process of purchasing the grinder, plus a cart and donkey (needed to transport the grinder between villages).
“Teryia would like to thank the Observer who initially ran the article that brought many local people out in support of the Malian women’s efforts, and to those locals who donated money and time to this project. Our thanks also goes out across the miles to both Fatou and Sekou (our connectors and translators!),” said organizer Anne Ehret.
Once the grinder is set up and operational in the commune, the women will begin to pay for the complete cost of the grinder so that they own the operation. The women plan to raise enough funds through their Shea Butter sales to purchase another grinder, as there are 27 villages in the area. Local Teryia organizers plan to continue to partner with them as it is a mutual benefit.