Archives For savings group member

Leya Mshani

Leya Mshani lives in Chitipa, a district in northern Malawi, with her husband and children.

A year ago, Leya and her nearby neighbors each spent around 35 hours per week—the equivalent of a full-time job in the U.S.—collecting water for their families.

When friends invited her to join Ungweru (“light”) savings group through their church (a HOPE partner), Leya started saving 500 kwacha (roughly 67¢ USD) at each group meeting.

As she paid her shares, she used her first loan from the group to take an intensive tailoring course in order to pursue her dream of becoming a seamstress. Over the next two years, Leya used funds from her savings, loans, and profits to start a sewing business, make home improvements, purchase livestock, support her husband in starting a taxi business, and teach other women how to sew to earn income. Continue Reading…

Serafina

“My whole life, I had never had a job or done anything to get money to feed myself and my family. I would just go dig out in [a neighbor’s] field then get food for me and my family,” Serafina recalls. “For some reason, I thought that was enough, and I thought that’s how life was meant to be.”

Continue Reading…

As a retailer in a local market near Jeanthon II, Haiti, Manoucheka Joseph puts in a long day. At 6 a.m., she packs a black rolling suitcase with her wares—sandals, children’s clothing, and drinks—hails a taxi, and makes her way to the bustling market. She spends the day tending to her stall and helping customers find items, and doesn’t return home until 6 p.m.

Even though Manoucheka was involved with the church in her community, her busy days away from home kept her from getting to know her neighbors. “I didn’t have any friends,” she relates.

Manoucheka also worried about not having enough income to save for unexpected emergencies that might arise—not only for herself but for her 8-year-old son. “Life was difficult,” she recalls. “We earn 100 gourdes, and we spend 100 gourdes. We just live one day at a time, with no hope for the future. So, […] if there’s an emergency situation, how are we going to face it?”

Then, this past February, Manoucheka decided to join Gwoup Epay Debora, the Deborah Savings Group that had started at her church. Continue Reading…