Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Margret and Emelda Transformed Through Microloan Program

Samfya, Zambia – Margret is a widow and a mother to five children. She enrolled in SCCP’s microloan program in 2008 with a $10 loan to begin a garden at her home. Though Margret had never gardened before, she was successful in her harvest and sold her vegetables to fully pay back the loan after four months. In December 2008, she received a loan for $120 and became a farmer, utilizing a maize field to feed and support her family. In the first year she grew 25 bags of maize and 33 bags in 2013. Because of the success of her harvest, Margret sent all five of her children to school, something she never thought she would do.

Margret’s close friend Emelda is a married mother to ten children from ages 10 to 36 years old. All of her children have gone to school or are currently enrolled. In Zambia, it is a rare and admirable accomplishment to send even one of your children to school, let alone all ten. Emelda enrolled in the microloan program in 2008, receiving her first loan to begin gardening. Though she had never gardened in the past, she grew numerous different vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, onions, lettuce and tomatoes. Emelda sells her vegetables to the government preservation program to provide for her family. After receiving her last loan of $20, Emelda is now farming and growing maize. In her first year she grew 18 bags of maize, and in 2013 she exceeded 35 bags, allowing her to provide her children with an education and serve others through her church.

Both women are involved in their church. Emelda attends a women’s Bible study and is part of a women’s group that assists orphans, the elderly and sick. Margret said that her microloan has empowered her to give back to the church while opening her eyes, raising her standard of living and helping her neighbors with the agriculture training she received in the program. Emelda has future plans to build a new house and utilize her current one to benefit orphans in the community. She says that God has blessed her, changed her from struggling to strong, and from starving to full of life. These women’s lives have been transformed thanks to a simple microloan – and are confident that they can help empower others in their community to do the same.

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