As you can see, I am happy to meet you today. Sallay is my name, but people call me “combra meeting” (“mothers’ meeting” – this could be a result of her role in organising meetings for single mothers here at Lumley (Freetown)). I am so grateful for what Practical Tools Initiative (PTI) has done for me. PTI has helped me greatly. Before that day, I was selling children’s clothing, which gave just a little profit – it was not enough to take care of my family. And PTI supplied me with goods which I sold. I was able to raise a lot of money from those goods which they gave me because the things were quite expensive. Selling those goods gave me a huge amount of money, which I used to travel to Guinea Conakry to buy bales of clothes. I now even buy new jeans to sell on credit which also helps to increase the profit I get. Now I have my business running smoothly.
My only challenge is a place where I should sit to sell my goods; I do not have a permanent place to sell. I do street trading, so I am always chased by the police. Sometimes, when we are caught by the police, they seize our goods unless we pay them some money before they release them to us. But despite all these challenges, I am grateful to God Almighty and to PTI for their support, because if it were not for them, I wouldn’t be sitting here and talking of a whole bale as my own. So, thank you again to PTI for the help and support you have given me – you have not only helped me but my family as well.
Sallay’s story is remarkable; seen here, on the left, is the first time we gave her ‘test’ merchandise. She successfully sold these items in a single day!
We upgraded her to a bale of used clothing (below left). This bale of used clothing also proved decisive for a determined woman who wanted to change her life – it became a turning point for her.
Within two months of selling her merchandise, she raised enough funds to start doing cross-national trading between Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry to purchase bales of used clothing and new items!