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…