Most women in Africa struggle to make ends meet not because they don’t work hard enough — they work sunup to sundown, trying to sell fuel or purchasing a few items from the market to sell in their village, or doing neighbors’ washing, or selling whatever food they grow in their garden — but because they don’t receive fair wages or fair opportunities. This unfairness makes it difficult to help provide for their children, and may mean they have to give their children away.
By partnering with pastors in Sierra Leone and Uganda, our desire is to encourage women in the church as they seek to support their families. We do this by offering a microloan through the pastors. The pastors train up the women in business skills, and each week the women give back a little of their loan. For the first few months, however, whatever money they give back is put into a “pot” and once a month, each women receives that “pot” as a free gift, a boost, towards her business. Once a woman has received the pot, she then begins to pay back double — partially towards the pot, and partially towards her loan. Once every woman has received the pot, it starts over again, long after the loan has been paid off.
Recently, nearly 100 villagers and 10 churches received microloans in Sierra Leone.
Below are a few examples of how women in Uganda are using the microloan program to support themselves
Jessica Naikoba invested her money in a goat which has now given birth to a male kid.
Edisa Namusonko invested her money in a piglet that she is taking care of, as well as a hen which is ready to hatch its eggs.
Gladys Tyabiwulila is the mother of Esther, one of our teen moms at the School of Hope. She invested her money in one piglet, one hen and in banana leaves that she sells in the nearby trading centers.
Susan Nantambi is one of the babysitters at the School of Hope. She invested in four piglets and two hens. Two of her piglets were eaten by village dogs; she has decided to keep the remaining two in the kitchen at night so she prevent them from being eaten by village dogs. She is so thankful for The Lulu Tree.