Three and a half years ago, Marie-Chantal and her now-husband were living together outside of wedlock. They wanted to be married, but they had not been able to afford a traditional marriage ceremony and celebration. Community members looked down on them for their unofficial union. Then Marie-Chantal accessed a loan from Turame, HOPE’s partner in Burundi. She was able to buy tomatoes from a wholesaler in Gitega and resell them at a private stand in a convenient location for a slightly higher price. Her income increased, and she was able to afford a legal marriage and the ceremony to accompany it. She has also been able to buy a pig and a goat, which now fertilize the crops she has planted.
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