Back in 2010, Jolly Tumuhimbise, a widowed parent at Kengoma Primary School looked after her household of 9 on less than $1 a day. It’s not that she was lazy. She worked every day as a fruit vendor, selling fruit to passersby from a basket that she carried on her head through Kabale town. That was before she became a WISE woman!
On January 24, 2011, Jolly joined a peer group of WISE Women (Women In Support of Education); after undertaking financial literacy training, completing a simple business plan and pledging to keep her children in school, she received her first ever loan of $70.
“Before I joined WISE I used to buy one sack of mostly rotting fruit from suppliers. In two days my fruit looked so bad, no one wanted to buy it. With my first loan, I was able to buy 2 sacks of fresher fruit that lasts longer. I sold to better customers who paid more money, so I made a good profit. Now I buy 4 sacks every week.” Jolly said
With a 100% repayment rate, she has taken three loans to date. In the third loan cycle, - January 2012 - she had the courage to borrow $150! The loan program encourages the women to save so as to accumulate capital to make investments. After loan repayments, buying school uniforms, scholastic materials, medical expenses and food, Jolly has proved to be a good saver. By December 2011 she had saved 350,000/= (or $140) which she used to buy a cow, a goat and 2 chicken. Her monthly income is now about $160 per month!
“If I were to sell the cow today, I would get 500,000/= ($250) ,” she says beaming with pride, “I can afford to provide meals for my children and they are in school. I now have the ability to solve any problem that I come across. I thank E. Lushaya Women’s Group for including me and the Mpambara Cox Foundation for giving me the loan and the knowledge on how to use the loan wisely.” Jolly says.
Among her biggest accomplishments are learning how to keep records, budgeting and negotiating with her suppliers for better fruit and better prices. Jolly has turned opportunity into a success story for herself and her children thanks to a $70 seed money donation and MCF’s belief that through empowering women, we can ensure the next generation escapes poverty.
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