"I started like any other member of my group, we are all successful but our level of success is different when we received the training in business skills, I practiced what I learned, keeping records, budgeting, and saving. After 3 years my business and family are stable and I feel proud that I'm self-reliant now" Says Moreen.
Moreen aged 39, is a widow with three children and seven other dependents; all are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Moreen, with the other five members, formed a business group. She says the program came at a time she needed a hand to hold her from collapsing. “I had a timber business in the Democratic Republic of Congo when I lost all I had to the soldiers. I was on the verge of giving up on life as I had completely nothing.
A friend invited her to a business skill training organized by Volunteer Action Network and WGEF training; a number of facilitators spoke and gave them hope, encouraging them to look at things from a positive angle. The facilitators told the story of a Bumble Bee that manages to fly even when many people thought it had no ability to fly. This motivated Moreen. During the training, she learned about Enterprise Selection and Projected Income Statement that enabled her to identify the business opportunity of growing and selling coffee.
After the training, she requested an agro loan of $320 and used it to buy coffee for selling; and used the balance to hire and prepare the land for growing beans and maize and $217 for paying school fees. After harvesting, she raised $800 from two tons of beans and one ton of maize and also continued buying and selling coffee. Moreen has since diversified into a big supplier of produce linking the buyers from Gulu in Uganda with those in neighboring DRC who need all most food. Since 2016, she has been consistently working in this field, and her daily sales approximately $81 per day. Her businesses are now is worth over $1500 (USD). Moreen currently employs 4 workers. She has a daughter at the university where she pays tuition of $400 per semester and another child in A-level. She is now very influential in her group and community as a whole.
"I started like any other member of my group, we are all successful but our level of success is different when we received the training in business skills, I practiced what I learned, keeping records, budgeting, and saving. After 3 years my business and family are stable and I feel proud that I'm self-reliant now" Says Moreen..
Despite the uncertainties presented by 2020 with a global pandemic, It is clear: the economic and social toll of Covid-19 affected women and girls disproportionately, we are grateful together we were able to support 1,422 microloans, these included supporting women to restart their business that was affected by the effects of the pandemic. Many women reported positive stories.
“I’m confident I will be able to take care of myself, educate my children and support my family despite the effects of Corona I will stand again because I have the skills and experience plus access to resources,” Sarah says
Women like Moreen is the reason why microloans and women’s empowerment is important because the benefits lift the entire community. We are committed to continuing to support women with the tools they need to achieve self-reliance and we cannot do it without your thoughtful partnership and investment. Consider investing $50 to enable women in Uganda to enable her to start a business