Maria Kasimbo is a member of a livelihoods group in Chongwe, Zambia, that has benefited from a project funded by ChildFund’s generous supporters. The group is called ‘Tiyeseko’, which means ‘we will not give up easily’.
Life wasn’t easy for Maria before she joined the Tiyeseko group; she had no regular source of income and is raising three children – two girls and a boy.
Maria’s group decided to start a village banking system and received a loan from ChildFund to kickstart their bank. Maria borrowed a small amount of money from the bank and used it to start a grocery shop.
“I am the living testimony of the project. When others were pulling out of the group I never gave up. Village banking is real. Today I can send my children to school because I can now afford school supplies,” Maria said, smiling with pride.
“Since I joined the group, I have been determined to make the most of my potential. The loan was a way of enabling me to accomplish that which was impossible before. Now l have grown my grocery business and I am able to make K450 profit per month. Take note that this amount is profit and does not include my working capital. I have seen my income increase by 50% compared to the time when I had no business. I now enjoy the privilege and responsibility of caring for my children,’’ she said.
“I’m very happy that ChildFund came up with the initiative of lending money to vulnerable people like me – I am a proud mother.”