Mrs. Valliammai learned the art of gardening and cultivation from her parents. Now it is her livelihood, and, with the help of a CERI microenterprise loan and her own enthusiasm, it is somewhat of a family business. Mrs. Valliammai is 56 years old and is the foster mother of Sivarasa, a child in CERI’s care. Her husband, Vanniasingham, is an unskilled worker who has a difficult time finding work much of the time. When there is no work for him, he helps his wife with the gardening. Sivarasa helps also during school breaks. They consider it a blessing to engage in this effort together.
The family is skilled in planting crops, knowing the appropriate times for planting and harvesting. They were granted a microenterprise loan of 10,000 Rupees (approximately 100 USD) and planted mung beans, okra, chilies, eggplants, lettuce, and manioc. While typically allowed payments of 10 installments to repay the loan, Mrs. Valliammai and her family repaid theirs in just 5 installments. The family sells their produce at the weekly market and in their village, and they are able to make a profit each week.
Although a portion of their cultivation was recently damaged due to a flood, the resourceful Mrs. Valliammai converted the flooded area into a paddy field and was thus able to avoid a devastating loss of income. She has now requested a second loan to continue to pursue and expand her paddy cultivation efforts. Mrs. Valliammai is a motivated woman and drives her family forward with her determination. There are many more like her who only need a small boost to help them start a business that can propel their families toward self-sustainability. CERI’s Microenterprise program provides that boost with the help of donors like you!