Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia

 
$21,097
$8,903
Raised
Remaining

An Update on Power of Love's Project "Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia"

We would like to say a big "Thank You" to you for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Power of Love’s microloans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS and helps them become self-reliant. You will be happy to know that we were able to provide business training and small loans to 25 new women entrepreneurs in September 2012. These new women entrepreneurs meet weekly with the loan officer, discuss issues related to their loans, children's health, schooling, HIV prevention, and how to improve their businesses. They are applying the basic principles of business (learnt during business training last month) by tracking sales, inventories, expenses, and keeping accounts daily. In addition, they are learning that a better store design and display leads to more sales and repeat customers. They are on track with their loan repayments and should be able to complete their first loan cycle by April/May 2013 at which time they will be eligible for a second loan.

Some of the businesses started by the women include: (i) Grocery items like dried fish, beans, rice, cooking pots, cups and plates, bananas, soft drinks, popcorn, charcoal, fresh fish, cup cakes, milk, sugar, tea, coffee, vegetables, fruits, peanut butter, fritters, (ii) Books (mostly Bibles), (iii) Clothing: School jerseys, used clothing, and (iv) Shoes. These businesses will help provide for 125 children in school as on average a woman cares for 5 or more children in her home. The children can go back to school as a result of better nutrition and health and because their caregivers can now purchase school supplies (books, shoes, school bag, uniforms).

The long-term impact of our micro loans program is to allow women to start planning, saving, and building a better future for themselves and their families. Our women entrepreneurs take the first steps towards self-reliance, run thriving businesses and become role models and mentors for other women in the community.  The program has a substantial impact on the community beyond the program participants themselves as the women in our program encourage others in the community to go in for voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) for HIV, start businesses, and take charge of their own lives.

Meet Sharon, one of the women entrepreneurs in our loans program.

Sharon is 50 years old and takes care of her six grandchildren and three other dependents. Her husband stopped work five years ago and they were not able to provide for their family. She learnt about Power of Love's micro loans program from a friend who is a beneficiary of this program. Her friend asked her to join the program as one of her grandchildren was not well.

Once Sharon joined our program, she was given business training and a small loan to start a business selling fried chicken on the roadside. With earnings from her business, Sharon has been able to provide three meals for her family, and two of her grandchildren are back in school as she can pay for their school expenses. In addition, she has added two rooms to her house, so that she can supplement her income with rent. Sharon's business is doing well and she is on track with her loan repayments. She is happy and confident about her future.

Thanks again for your generous support and encouragement. With the addition of 25 new women, the total number of women entrepreneurs in our program has increased to 170.  Each and every one of these women  is a star as they are battling difficult circumstances to provide for their families and keep their children healthy and  in school. 

Links:

We are Proud of the Women Entrepreneurs in Our Program “Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia”

We would like to say a big "Thank You" to you for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Power of Love’s micro-loans program empowers women impacted/affected by HIV/AIDS who are left out of traditional micro-loan programs and helps them become self-sufficient. You will be happy to know that in 2012, we provided loans to 145 women entrepreneurs in our micro loans program in Zambia. For these 145 women this was the second or third loan cycle and we expect that they will finish repaying November/December 2012. At this time, almost all the women are on schedule with their loan repayments. These women were provided with business training and their first loan in 2010. Since then they have been running their businesses and supporting their families with earnings from their business. As a result of earnings from their businesses the women have been able to care for their families, send their children to school, and have been able to save a small amount each day. We are proud of the women as most of them have been able to increase their capital. We are especially proud of the 56 women entrepreneurs who have increased their capital by 100% or more, and another 18 women who have increased their capital by 50% or more. A few women have used these funds to finish building their shops, or purchasing small plots of land to build homes/shops. In addition, 81 children are back in school as a result of this program. We are confident that these women entrepreneurs should be able to break out of the cycle of poverty and stand on their own feet. They have built successful businesses and are eager to continue their growth.

The long-term impact of our micro loans program is to allow women to start planning, saving, and building a better future for themselves and their families. Our women entrepreneurs take the first steps towards self-reliance, run thriving businesses and become role models and mentors for other women in the community.  The program has a substantial impact on the community beyond the program participants themselves as the women in our program encourage others in the community to go in for voluntary testing and counseling (VCT), start businesses and take charge of their own lives.

Thanks again for your generous support and encouragement. 

Links:

Nthani
Nthani

An Update on the Project “Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia”

We would like to thank our donors for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Power of Love’s microloans program empowers women impacted/affected by HIV/AIDS who are left out of traditional microloan programs and helps them become self-sufficient.  You will be happy to know that in April 2012, we distributed loans to 90 women entrepreneurs in our micro loans program in Zambia.  For these 90 women this was the third loan cycle and they expect to finish repayments by November 2012.  These women were provided with business training and their first loan in 2010. Since then they have been running their businesses and supporting their families with earnings from their business. As a result of earnings from their businesses the women have been able to send their children to school and more than 73 children have been able to continue school as a result of this program. Most important, we are proud of our women entrepreneurs who have learned the value of savings, and now save a small amount each day.  Out of this group, 71 women have savings and more than 50% have savings in a bank account.  When they joined our program in 2010, less than 5% of these women had savings.

The average amount saved is small, but it helps the women (i) take care of emergencies such as sicknesses, funerals, and school fees/expenses, (ii) purchase raw material/inventories for their business, and (iii) help the women to continue running their business after they have completed the maximum of three loan cycles and have graduated from our program.

The long-term impact of our micro loans program is to allow women to start planning, saving, and building a better future for themselves and their families. Our women entrepreneurs take the first steps towards self-reliance, and become role models and mentors for other women in the community.  The program has a substantial impact on the community beyond the program participants themselves.

Most of the women in Power of Love’s micro loans program have built successful businesses and are eager to continue their growth. We are proud of our women entrepreneurs, who with your generous donations have been able to support themselves and their families, run thriving businesses, and take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Nelly2
Nelly2
Brenda
Brenda

Links:

Brenda and her used clothing store
Brenda and her used clothing store

Story of a Woman who joined Power of Love’s Micro Loans Program and Received Business Training and a Small Loan 

We would like to thank our donors for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia take the first steps towards self-reliance. Here is the story of one women entrepreneur. 

Brenda is 42 years old with 4 children of her own and 2 other dependents to support. After her husband divorced her life was hard as her ex-husband refuses to support her and the children.  After her divorce, Brenda did not have a place to live, and two of her children stopped going to school due to lack of funds for school supplies. Brenda moved in with her sister but it did not help as her sister has 5 children of her own to support.  Brenda did not have any skills that she could use to earn money to support her family. In 2010, Brenda joined Power of Love’s micro loans program and received business training and a small loan to start a business.  She started selling peanut butter, and is now selling used clothing in one of the big markets.  At present, all her children are back in school and her eldest son graduated from high school in November 2011. With the earnings from her business Brenda has been able to rent a two room house and has taken the first steps towards self-reliance. We are very proud of Brenda as she now encourages other women in the community to run profitable businesses and has become their role model.     

Thank you.


Links:

Update on Power of Love's Project “Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia”

As a result of your continued support, we were able to provide business training and small loans to 50 new women “entrepreneurs” in Lusaka, Zambia in 2011. We would like to sincerely thank the Mary D. Fisher Fund and other donors who continue to support this program. Almost all the women who were provided with loans in 2011, are on schedule with their repayments as we continue to monitor the progress of their businesses and suggest ways to increase sales and profits.  We expect this loan cycle to be completed by March 31, 2012 with the women repaying loan capital (approximately $135) with 10% interest rate. Businesses started with this program range from selling bananas along the roadside to brick-and-mortar stores selling cellphone chargers and accessories. Many women distribute fish to local restaurants, fry donut-like snacks for stores, or make their own floor wax. The goal of the program is to empower women and help them to become self-sufficient and able to provide for their families.

One of the unique features of this program is that every woman is either infected with or affected by AIDS, and fewer than 5% have a bank account. As a result, other microfinance organizations typically do not make loans to them. The women are qualified using a community referral system and through several interviews by Power of Love’s microfinance coordinator, Esther Shumba. After a woman is selected for a loan, she undergoes a week of intensive business training, builds a credible business plan, and is assigned to a team with four other women. Each team is held accountable for ensuring that the others in their group are on track with their loan repayment.

One key element of this program is the weekly meetings which have benefited the women significantly in several ways. The women meet once a week to discuss their businesses and how to improve sales, issues connected with care for families who are HIV positive, share their successes and failures and to make their loan repayments. For example, one of the ladies - Alice was having trouble finding a place to sell high-quality soap she was importing from South Africa. Another woman in the program has a brother who owns a small general store, and agreed to rent Alice some shelf space. Alice now has a healthy business importing this soap, has expanded into other product lines, and has laid the foundation on a small home for herself and her two sons. Alice has graduated from Power of Love’s program, but continues to serve as a mentor to other women in the program and is able to send her sons to high school.

Given below is a picture of some of the women singing before the start of their weekly meeting at the Power of Love offices in Lusaka, Zambia. The lady with the cell phone around her neck is Alice, one of the successful graduates of this program.

To sum, the key aspects of the POL microfinance model are: (1) the division of loan recipients into small teams that hold each other accountable; (2) weekly program-wide meetings to share insight and collect repayment; and (3) consistent business training, including an initial course, a refresher course, and mentoring from successful program graduates.

Next Steps: At this time we are in the process of setting up a partnership with FINCA, the largest provider of microloans in Zambia and a major presence worldwide (distributed $800 million in loans in 2011). Many women, like Alice Bamba above, have graduated from Power of Love’s microfinance program and have built successful businesses, but are eager to invest more capital and grow their business to the next level. Power of Love and FINCA have agreed to send such women to the FINCA branch in the community of Matero (where are program is located), with the intent of building a relationship that allows POL to refer women directly to the FINCA branch in Matero and help integrate the women into FINCA’s village banking model.

To date, this program has provided 450 loans to women impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia and improved the lives of over 4000 people in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia. At this time we have 160 women who are on this program and running successful businesses.

Power of Love’s micro loans program helps women impacted by HIV/AIDS take the first steps towards breaking the cycle of poverty, acquiring a marketable skill and becoming self-reliant. In addition we monitor the businesses and provide business expertise to all loan beneficiaries to ensure the success of their businesses. Your support goes a long way in improving the lives of women and families impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Microfinance has transformed the lives of many poor mothers and grandmothers in AIDS-stricken Africa and is truly a powerful tool in helping women become self-reliant.

Thanks.

Links:

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $48
    give
  • $142
    give
  • $190
    give
  • $192
    give
  • $286
    give
  • $380
    give
  • $572
    give
  • $858
    give
  • $48
    each month
    give
  • $142
    each month
    give
  • $190
    each month
    give
  • $192
    each month
    give
  • $286
    each month
    give
  • $380
    each month
    give
  • $572
    each month
    give
  • $858
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Organization

Project Leader

Alka Subramanian

Founder/Director
San Diego, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia