Mrs. Senaratna Sivamala, 59, lives in the city of Batticaloa, Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. The province was hit hard by the 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. A caretaker of four children whose parents are deceased, Mrs. Sivamala is a versatile entrepreneur, who is adept at poultry farming, basket-weaving, and husbandry.
When CERI began supporting her small business through a revolving micro-loan program, Mrs. Sivamala and the children in her care were all cramped in a tiny hut. She has received two loans from CERI’s Women’s Small Group (WSG) in the amount of $44 and $88, respectively, which allowed her to purchase 70 broiler chickens and expand a poultry farm she owns.
CERI set up the WSG as a network of foster mothers in Batticaloa, who have pooled their funds together to establish a loan fund that each foster family can tap into to launch or expand its micro-enterprise initiatives.
Mrs. Sivamala now generates a profit of $27 per month from her chicken egg sales, in addition to earning $9 per week by selling hand-woven decorative baskets – an impressive increase in income by the standards of provincial Sri Lanka. The tireless businesswoman has recently built a new, spacious house, and organized wedding celebrations for two of her grandchildren.
“I’m very happy about my progress and am deeply grateful to the Women’s Small Group for helping me to promote my self-employment. I am also looking forward to getting a larger loan from CERI for goat farming,” Mrs. Sivamala said.
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