Determined to feed her children and take care of her ill husband, 54 year old Arame Thiam sold towels, tablecloths, napkins, and other textile items from a small table placed on a street corner. That table remained Arame’s business for 22 years, until she heard about the Friends of Senegal zero interest microfinance program.

With a micro loan of $310, Arame was able to buy a simple kiosk and greatly expand the products that she offers to the public. But hard times continued. Her husband’s medical condition worsened, her home was flooded during the rainy season and, for a time, she too was ill.

In spite of all of the obstacles that she faced, Arame persevered, repaying her loan and saving a little money toward her ultimate dream of having a small boutique. A boutique would mean that she would be able to offer more products to her loyal customers, and, very importantly, Arame would not have to take all of the heavy products out of her kiosk, which is not secure, every night and put them back in the next day.

Arame is a profile in courage and determination, with a beautifully positive attitude, a delightful smile, and dreams of a bright future.

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