Thursday, 12 August 2010


Or more specifically, integration and differentiation.

That’s what occurred to me when I looked at this group photo of today’s disbursement to Kafanchan’s Rehabilitation Centre in nearby Takau.

"Integration" because this is a pretty good example of Fantsuam’s ‘integrated model of rural development’

The whole group had recently undergone microenterprise training which had motivated them to apply for a group loan from Fantsuam Foundation.

But in addition to business training and microfinance services, you may recognise Steven and Peter (3rd and 4th from the left) – who recently graduated from our Computer Certificate class at Fantsuam Foundation .

A close up of the shot from the JAWS graduation

"Differentiation" because of the variety of people in the picture.

Starting from left to right – Joshua is a shoemaker. Until now the small amount of capital he had allowed him to make three to four pairs of shoes a week that he would take to local Kafanchan market to sell. The loan will allow him to buy more materials and make more shoes.

Grace disbursing Joshua his first cycle loan of N5,000 (just over £20). Grace is standing in for her colleague Sarah whose centre this is. Sarah was involved in an okada accident last week and has a head injury. We wish her a speedy and full recovery.

Dauda next to him is a tailor. Also trained at the Rehab Centre he’s been making and repairing men’s and women’s clothes for almost 10 years. The loan will allow him to diversify and buy a goat.

Steven and Peter work at the centre. They and their wives received the loan in order to boost the farming business.

Dauda signs for his first loan

Next to Peter are the two Christianas who together rear chickens which they fatten and sell at Kafanchan’s weekly pig market, arguably the largest in West Africa.

A colleague helps Christiana James sign for her loan with a thumb print.

In front of the Christianas is Andrew Chiroma, mobile bookseller and one time Nigerian Salesman of the Year with Worldwide Educational Services Ltd who he started working with in 1998 after retinal pigmentosa forced him to abandon his BSc in Sociology. As well as selling books, Andrew is a master bookbinder which reminded me of my days at the London College of Printing attaching end papers and applying gold leaf to foredges. Ah those were the days.

Next to Christiana in the yellow is Casmir N Bobai (left) – also a mobile salesman, he visits local villages on their market day to sell phone recharge cards when demand is high. Like so many things in life, the more you buy the cheaper they are. With the loan Casmir will be able to get a better margin – make more money – on his business. I’ll be looking out for him at Kagoro this weekend.

But to be honest, they are not the only sorts of integration and differentiation that this disbursement reminded me of. I’ll let you think about the other types yourself but let me give you a hint. If you start going doing the paths of first principles, rates of change and dx by dy, you’re on the wrong track.

I prefer this sort of calculus.

In Nigeria peanuts are called groundnuts. Taken in the grounds of the Rehabilitation Centre, you can see why.


This blog is dedicated to Michael – Fantsuam’s – and in particular – the Pink Ladies’ driver who tragically died last week a few weeks after being involved in a serious motorbike. He has left a huge hole in the heart of the Fantsuam and Bayan Loco communities. We pray for his young family, including wife, his twin girls and baby daughter Esther born this year on Easter Day.

1 comment:

Sabine said...

Hi Cicely,

great pictures and stories. I hope that everybody who was now granted a loan will make the most out of it shortly.
Please extend my kindest regards to Michael's family. Accidents are really a threat to everybody in Nigeria and I hope you will keep on travelling safely!!!
Cheers from rainy Germany,
Sabine & Markus