2010 - Stories of Women Who Have Received Micro Loans from Power of Love
Elina Lungu is married with five children. Her husband lost his job more than a year back and since then she has been struggling to keep her children in school as she needs funds to pay for their school supplies. With the help of a loan from the Power of Love Foundation, Elina started a business making and selling dresses. With the profits from the business, Elina has been able to provide her family with 2-3 meals per day and also pay for some of the school requirements for her children. Elina says that she plans to work hard so that she can save enough money to build a shop to display and sell her dresses. She feels that a shop will help her display her products better and this will lead to more customers, sales and profits. At this time, she is sewing at home and takes her products into schools for sale.
Lillian Miti is 29 years old and is on her second loan from the Power of Love Foundation. With the first loan she started a store that sold 3-4 different types of fruits. Lillian received a second loan last month and with that she has increased the assortment in her store to include eggs, cooking oil, and more fruits and vegetables. Lillian says that before March 2010 when she received her first loan, she was not able to provide meals for herself and the eight children she cares for. She has 6 children of her own and two from her brother who died the same year her husband died. Lillian is the only surviving relative in the family. With the profits earned from her grocery store, she is able to feed her family regular meals and is more confident about her future. Lillian plans to work hard to make her business a success to support her children and send them to school soon. In addition, she plans to extend her late brother’s one room house for rental purposes to get additional income.
Nelly Mwale is a widow with three children and all of them are HIV positive. Since her husband died, she has been living with a friend and facing difficult times. Her friend (who is a beneficiary of Power of Love’s micro loans program) introduced her to the program. Nelly made up her mind to ask for a loan from Power of Love once she realized that her friend’s life had changed for the better as a result of the loan. Nelly started a business with the loan capital and since then her situation has improved significantly. She believes that with the support of her friend and the business training received she is running a moderately profitable business. She received a second loan in September 2010 and has decided to continue with the grocery store she started with the first loan received in March 2010. Nelly plans to work hard and with the proceeds from her business rent a one room house for herself and take better care of her family. She is happy as she was able to pay school fees for her child who is in grade ten and was able to purchase some school supplies for another child.
Mary Banda is 32 years old and has 4 children. She was divorced by her husband when she tested positive for HIV during her last pregnancy and her husband blames her for his HIV positive status. Her youngest child is 8 months old and life has not been easy for her as she gets no support from her ex-husband or his family. Mary has started a small business with the help of a small loan and business training from the Power of Love Foundation, and she believes that proceeds from the business will provide food for her family. Mary has had some prior experience with her business and is confident that she will be able to overcome any challenges that come her way. She is planning to raise about $200 so that she can expand her business of buying and selling used clothing. She buys used clothing from Malawi and sells it in Lusaka, Zambia. She is confident that her business will yield enough profit that she will be able to meet all the needs of her family.
Anna Mulenga is 45 years old and cares for 6 six children (four are her own and 2 are orphans). Her husband abandoned her two years back after discovering that both she and her youngest child are HIV positive. Her first born child stopped going to school as she did not have money for his uniform and shoes. With the help of a loan from the Power of Love Foundation, Anna started a business selling used clothing. With profits from her business, she has been able to buy shoes and a uniform on credit for her daughter and she is back in school. Anna is confident that she will be able to make payments both for the loan and the uniform as her business is doing well. She says that she will work hard so that her children can continue to go to school. Anna is planning to expand her business by buying two more bales of used clothing. In addition, she wants to rent a two room house for her family as at present she is living in a one roomed house with her brother-in-law who has eleven members in his household.
Gloria Danti is a 66 year old widow who supports five of her own children and three grand children. Two of her grand children are HIV positive and one of them is on ARV’s. After Gloria received a loan from the Power of Love Foundation she became a first time business owner. Gloria started a vegetable stand with the loan and her business (about 3 months old) is doing well at this time.
Naomi Musoni is a widow, 68 years old and is sharing her living space with her four children and five orphans (who lost their parents as a result of HIV/AIDS) as she is their only surviving relative. Fortunately, none of the children are HIV positive. Before Naomi received a loan from the Power of Love Foundation, she had no source of income and relied on the Church and her neighbors to support the orphaned children. With the loan money, Naomi started a vegetable and dried fish stand. Even though this is her first business venture, her business is doing well because of the business training she received prior to receiving the loan. At present, her learning curve is steep as she is learning new ways to stabilize her business to earn a steady income and is able to feed her family at least two meals a day.
Christine Simwinga is 48 years old, a widow and lives with her six children of which two are HIV positive. Before she received a loan from the Power of Love Foundation, she was supporting her family by washing clothes in the neighborhood. Christine was having a hard time as income from washing clothes was not steady and on several days she and her family would go hungry as there was no money to buy food. In March 2010, Christine received business training and a small loan from Power of Love and started a fruit stand (mainly bananas at present). As a result of the loan, her income has stabilized and she is able to feed her family at least two meals every day.
Iren Mbasa is a 38 year old, single mom with five children and her youngest child is HIV positive and on medication. Iren had started a business in 2008 but could not continue as her fourth child (who died in early 2009) needed her constant care and attention. With the loan received from the Power of Love Foundation, she has started a business that sells vegetables, popcorn and footwear. Her small store is doing well and she is now able to provide three meals a day for her family.
Winne Lubinda is a widow, 44 years old and lives with her five children of which one is HIV positive. After she received a loan from the Power of Love Foundation, she started a mobile food stand selling a Zambian delicacy called “Chikanda” or African Polony. Winne’s business has been successful and with the profits from the business she has been able to pay school fees for her second child in addition to food for the family.
Jenny Masiliso is 50 years old and is supporting five nieces/nephews who are orphans as she lost her sisters to HIV/AIDS and she is the only living relative. Two of the children are HIV positive. With the loan received from Power of Love, Jenny has started a vegetable stand that sells tomatoes, onions, and beans. Jenny and the children live in a small one roomed house, but are happy with the income from the business as they are now able to eat three meals a day.
Mary Chonde is 43 years old and a single mom with three children, of which one is HIV positive. After she received business training and a loan from the Power of Love Foundation she started a roadside vegetable and fruit stand. With the profits from her business she has been able to move from a one-room to a two-room living space as she is also caring for two elderly people. In addition, the loan is helping her provide 2 meals to the family as opposed to the one meal they were able to eat before she received the loan.