award recipient and staff of mfi in togo

Sharing Voices from our Partners: Field Officer Awards in West Africa and the Middle East

Claire KellyUncategorized

Photo at the top is Assilassime’s nominee, Magnoulelen, receiving her award at a celebratory party at her branch office in Togo. 

WPF launched the Field Officer Appreciation Award in 2014 and it remains one of my favorite annual milestones.  However, it wasn’t until 2018 that WPF requested a quote from each nominated field officer as part of the nomination.  These stories often reveal the field officer’s inspiration to join their organization and recount stories of client support of which they’re particularly proud of.

For this year’s West Africa/MENA edition, WPF received 12 nominations from our partners to recognize the extraordinary work of their top field staff.  Please read below for some inspiring stories about this group, in their own words.

Sani supported his 70 farmers to gain a “bumper harvest” during the 2020 season. To appreciate his efforts, the members decided to repay their loans early and he was the first field staff to complete his harvest.

Sani Rantan Isah, Babban Gona, Nigeria:  “Several of the members under my portfolio had their fields in locations that are not accessible by motorcycle. At harvest, transporters could not reach the fields of 5 of the members, who farmed field size of 1 Hectare each. The closest place they could reach was approximately 4km away from the fields of these members, which posed a serious challenge to moving the bags of crops from their fields. To remedy this, I took it upon myself to move the bags from their fields, one by one, on my bike through until I was able to move all bags of maize.

Nicole Soudre, Yikri, Burkina Faso: “Supporting the poorest is a vocation for me, a daily source of satisfaction. I am proud to offer a wide range of products and services of monthly

Jean has worked at GRAINE in Burkina Faso for 13 years – starting as a security guard and taking on increasing roles over time.

training, savings, credit and especially the mutual health insurance to improve the social and economic development of the beneficiaries.

Jean Lankoande, GRAINE, Burkina Faso: When I was working here as a security guard, I closely watched the activities of loan officers for years. Now that I’m a loan officer, I use my free time to educate all clients on the credit methodology. Today, I manage a large portfolio whose quality is under control and which has allowed the agency to have good results.

Aliaa Alsaanaa, KIEDF, Israel:  Bedouins in non-recognized villages or ‎isolated towns are not on the electricity grid. They rely on ‎generators for their day to day electricity. I fought to prove ‎the Bedouin community would repay for solar generators and ‎prove to businesses that payment plans could be made. ‎When companies wanted to sell solar generators, which would ‎cease the pollution caused by diesel ones, to Bedouins, they ‎demanded full payment up front (not trusting they would get ‎paid). I worked to show, through KIEDF’s microloans for the ‎purchase solar generators, that they would repay these loans…and they did! Now companies sell on a fair payment plan and ‎KIEDF no longer needs to provide such loans.‎”

Magnoulelen receives her award at Assilassime in Togo. Her nomination was unanimous across all 9 branch offices.

Magnoulelen Padaban, Assilassime, Togo:  “A client lost her husband in 2019. She was responsible for 5 children. After the death of her husband, things became very difficult for her and her income was almost non-existent as it was her husband who helped her manage their business. Faced with this situation, the woman found herself in arrears and experienced total depression. We tried to chat with her and she ended up telling us her story. First, we tried to reassure her, to accompany her until she balances the loan. Afterwards, the renewed credit was reduced (from ≈$625 to $180 USD) to allow her to start over little by little. Today she is successfully managing a loan of ≈$895.”

In 2018, Isatu joined BRAC and took responsibility for 7 village organisations and 150 active clients. Here she is accepting her WPF Field Officer Appreciation Award.

Isatu Soko Turay,BRAC Microfinance Sierra Leone Ltd:Though our operation was suspended for two months in the year 2020 due to COVID- 19, I regularly visited the community to sensitize them about the virus and distributed leaflets and posters. I inspired them to use face masks and maintain social distancing.

Please meet all the winners of the 2021 Whole Planet Foundation Field Officer Appreciation Awards in the West Africa/MENA region in the graphics below!  All winners received certificates and cash prizes. Congratulations!