TRY Oysters Women Association Takes Giant Leap Forward

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Opens Individual Member Account With Reliance

In its desirous efforts to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the Gambian people, Reliance Financial Services on Monday made an unprecedented move when it entered into a groundbreaking deal with the Association of Women Oyster Sellers. The deal, which saw 55 members of association opening accounts with Reliance Financial Services, was aimed at putting oyster sellers in good stead, as they will, from now on, be enjoying soft loans and other fringe benefits from the Bank.

Speaking to the press, Fatou Mboob the coordinator of the Association, said that oysters sellers are the poorest of the poor lamenting that during off-season they find themselves trapped in a pathetic economic quagmire.

The leitmotif of this latest move will help women to save the little money they have so that in times of need they can access loans at the bank to do petty businesses as well as care for their families.

Mrs. Mboob further informed this paper that plans are underway for the Association to embark upon other ambitious programmes including organizing workshops on hygiene, sensitizing them on the importance of preserving the mangroves and on other relevant areas such as marking, etc. She expressed the view that this will go another step closer to enhancing the women’s skills in their trade. She however bemoaned that at the moment they are facing constraints such as lack of storage facilities and markets for their produce.

Mrs Mboob called on individuals and institutions to come forward to lend helping hands to the women in the interest the community. “We want people to appreciate the value of the delicacy,” she said.

For her part, Jomma Jarju-Sidibeh, the Head of the Micro Credit Unit at Reliance Bank said her institution is enthusiastically committed to empowering entrepreneurs as well as changing the lives of ordinary Gambians.  Madam Sidibeh added that the new partnership between Reliance and Oyster sellers is in line with the Bank’s policy of supporting indigenous businesses hence the move could not have come at a better time.  

“This is why we take banking to the doorsteps of the people. We are here today to meet these women to sensitize them about our product and serves so that open account with us and to make it easy for them we have agreed to come to their production site to collect their weekly savings.  Most of these women selling oysters have kids going to school, so we can give them loans to pay their school fees. We are also trying to identify their needs to enhance their productively. ”

Meanwhile let the public watch out in the local papers for the comprehensive recipes of different ways and methods of preparing oysters.    

Source: The Point