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Christele Balawouya Lome

Introduction - Written by our field partners

Christele (24) is a young entrepreneur who at such a young age is running her own Dressmaking business. She is single and has no children which means she can devote all of her time to perfecting her craft and building up a name for herself. 

Christele is currently supporting 1 member of her extended family and this is a big part of the reason that she wants her business to become more profitable. In order to make this happen Christele will buy a new sewing machine and other equipment that will help her to increase productivity.

Once she is earning more income she will be able to start saving for securing her future and for her future family. 

Field Partner: CODA


CODA stands for Coopérative pour le Développement des Affaires (Business Development Cooperative). The cooperative is based in the Bè-Ahligo district of Lome, and has been running since May 2008. Its main purpose is to help small businesses and communities to promote their own economic, social and cultural development in a sustainable way.

Its objectives are:

  • To combat poverty by providing social education to its members
  • To promote income-generating activities for women
  • To support private initiatives by promoting the collection of savings and the distribution of loans to members.

CODA is a member of the Professional Association of Microfinance Institutions in Togo.

Also lending to this entrepreneur

Katey Wyedean School Paul Connie Rowena Jim Lender wishes to remain private David Amy Sarah Peter Zerina Paradigm Norton Trust

Key information:

  • Name: Christele Balawouya
  • Trade: Dressmaker
  • Total loan required: £380
  • Repaid so far: £0

Fundraising progress:

Only £380 left to repay

Location - Lome, Togo

Togo is a country on the West African coast bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. The majority of Togo's population depends on subsistence agriculture. Togo is a major producer of phosphate, the main component in fertilizer.

From the 16th century to the 18th century, Togo's coastal region was a major trading centre for Europeans in search of slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name 'The Slave Coast'.

There are about 40 different ethnic groups in Togo, the largest of which are the southern-based Ewe, who make up 32% of the total population. Indigenous beliefs dominate (held by 51% of the population) followed by Christian (29%) and Muslim (20%).

Deki's Togolese field partner CODA is based in Lome, the nation's capital. One and a half million people live in the city, which is located on the Gulf of Guinea. Lome is Togo's chief port, as well as its administrative and industrial centre. The city's major exports are coffee, cocoa, copra (dried coconut kernels) and palm kernels.

Some statistics:

  • Capital: Lome
  • Official language: French (though each ethnic group has its own tongue)
  • Population: 6,027,798 (in 2010)
  • GDP: $3,153,400,897 (in 2010)
  • Percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day: 38.7% (in 2006)
  • Adult literacy rate: 57%
  • Estimated adult (aged 15-49) HIV prevalence: 3.2%
  • Life expectancy: 56