Donvide Chantal

Village: Kpalime

Age: 36

Occupation: Seamstress/handprints fabrics

Chantal Donvide is a wife, a mother of four and an entrepreneur.  She is the owner and creative director of Aklala Batik, a women’s group that specializes in handcrafted batik that is made into clothing, handbags and accessories.  She employs at-risk women and offers free training programs for women interested in learning the craft and increasing their earning potential.  In the past year, she has become the main breadwinner for her family and has become a mentor to other women and girls in her community.

In the six months since participating in the WWEC program, Chantal has grown astronomically.  She is more outspoken and is taking a more active role in the management of her business and within the community.  Financial management is always an area of improvement for most businesses, but Chantal is now investing in her company and is seeing a great deal of growth.  She’s better at planning for the future to obtain her goals and objectives.  She has taken on more leadership roles in Peace Corps projects and is more insightful. She’s also giving a portion of her profits for yoga bags to the WWEC 2012 conference.

In her own words:

I liked learning how to save money and that it is not necessary to ask your husband. We can have tontines (groups of women who all give a set amount each week to one woman and take turns being the one woman who receives all the money).

After the conference I have saved 20,000 francs ($40) and even my eight year old son has saved money. I taught him to save a little each day and since he has been in school for 3 weeks, he has saved 450 francs ($1).

After returning from the conference, I taught people at church the importance of saving on a daily basis.  I talked about creating bottles to save 25 francs each day in something that you cannot open until the end of the year. That way they can have money to buy biscuits or something to sell and make more money. I also taught people about Moringa, by sharing some of mine, and taught them to dry it in their rooms and not to put it over the fire to make it more efficient.  I taught about container gardens and will do that more in December during dry season.  I talked about having self-confidence and knowing you can accomplish things without a man.

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