Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia

by Power of Love Foundation
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Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS, Zambia
A dressmaker
A dressmaker

Dear Friend: The Power of Love team extends heartfelt thanks for your dedication to put vulnerable women on the path to self-reliance. With your support more than 4,500 family members improved in health and more than 2,000 children could attend school. We could not have done this without you.

Our goal is for all families enrolled to have good health and stable incomes and for children to attend school. Please take a few minutes to watch this short video  that shows a new entrepreneur running a successful business in a busy marketplace. 

Sending you and your family a whole lot of love for the holiday season and for 2023. 

A pop corn stand run by a new entrepreneur
A pop corn stand run by a new entrepreneur
A grocery store at a busy market place
A grocery store at a busy market place

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Impact of COVID, Climate change: In the past 3-4 years, more countries are facing growing levels of food insecurity and lack of income opportunities due to COVID, climate change, and conflict. One solution is to provide income generating skills and loans/financing to vulnerable families. Provision of microcredit is a cost-effective solution to generate an income and keep children in school.

Our response: To keep vulnerable families self-reliant and sustainable, our focus over the last year has been on increased training and closer monitoring to ensure business success. For example, more than 800 women received training in business this year. This is in addition to ongoing refresher training, business mentoring, and business monitoring provided. After completion of business training, the newly trained entrepreneurs start businesses such as vegetables and grocery stand, used clothing, used shoes, blankets, school uniforms, dress making, bed sheets etc. The story of a typical beneficiary is given below. 

Mary’s story: Mary (name changed) is a widow and the sole caregiver for her five children. Her youngest child is HIV+ and enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program. She was devastated when she lost her husband as she did not have any way to support her family. Her children were out of school for a short time as she could not afford fees but are back in school since January 2022 when school fees were eliminated by the government. She lives in a 2-room home which is very small for a family of six. She was struggling to pay rent and was earning a meager amount washing clothes for others. Earlier this year, Mary qualified for a loan and was happy as this provided her with an opportunity to earn an income. With loan funds, she started a business that sells used clothes and bedding. In her words, “it was like a dream come true when I was told that I have qualified for a loan, and this will change my life and that of my children”. She is on track with repayments on her first loan and can put food on the table 2-3 times a day unlike the times when they could not even eat one meal a day. Currently, she is working hard to grow her business. With funds from subsequent loans, she plans to purchase other types of products so that she can save enough to buy a plot for her children.  

Mary and the hundreds of women running businesses with loan funds, inspire us every day. In addition to paying for food, medicines, and school expenses the women enjoy a stable income, start building assets, lead others, and are on the path to self-reliance.

What is the key to success? We strongly believe that the women’s businesses are succeeding due to (i) loan recipients receive ongoing support, business monitoring, and mentoring to ensure business success, and (ii) we work closely with local leaders and community organizations including churches which helps in building trust with community members.

Thanks for bringing income stability and improved gender equity in resource poor communities. 

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Sue sells used clothing at her store
Sue sells used clothing at her store

Most women enrolled in Power of Love’s micro loans program are growing their businesses and learning to become successful entrepreneurs. In addition to paying for food, medicines, school expenses for children the women enjoy a stable income, start building assets, and are more self-reliant in taking care of their health and expenses.

How do loan recipients learn self-reliance? After completing business training, the newly minted entrepreneurs start businesses and put the business principles they learnt into practice. In the first eight months of 2022, more than 700 women received training in business, business mentoring, and ongoing business monitoring. In addition, 65 new loan recipients joined the program so that we now have 615 active loans. As a result of these program activities most businesses are doing well despite the impact of COVID restrictions.

What is the key to success? We strongly believe that these businesses are succeeding due to a few unique attributes of this program. First, we work closely with local leaders and community organizations including churches. Over the last few years, several church pastors requested that their women parishioners receive business training after observing the success of businesses run by women who had completed this training. Second, community members provide feedback for program improvement as they have been working with our ground team for the past 17 years.

Goals of this program: The goals of our micro loans program are (i) equip women with the tools they need to run a successful business, (ii) create conditions for social empowerment, and (iii) enable women to gather enough capital and savings so they can continue to run a profitable business even after graduating from the program. 

What next? Over the next four months, our plan is to provide business training to an additional 200 women and new loans to an additional 50 women to bring the total number of active loans to 665 benefitting more than 4,500 family members. The provision of ongoing business training, support, and loans result in higher skill levels in the community, and improved gender equity.

Thanks for bringing income stability and improved gender equality in resource poor communities. 

A typical business started with a micro loan
A typical business started with a micro loan
A  fabric store started with a micro loan
A fabric store started with a micro loan
A road side spice and used clothing store
A road side spice and used clothing store

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Selling fresh vegetable
Selling fresh vegetable

Our Zambian sisters would like to thank you for your continued caring and dedication to support them as they learn entrepreneurship skills and take steps toward self-reliance. In the first five months of 2022, 430 women received training in business. In the upcoming months, our plan is to provide business training to an additional 483 women and new loans to 115 women to bring the total number of number of women trained in business to 883 and the number of active loans to 665 by December 2022. This is in addition to ongoing refresher training, business mentoring, and business monitoring provided. As a result of these program activities most businesses are doing well despite COVID, and rising prices for food and fuel.

Given below are stories of two women whose lives have been transformed since joining our micro loans program. These women are an inspiration for our team. The businesses run by women are diverse and range from vegetables and grocery stands, used clothing, used shoes, blankets, school uniforms, dress making, bed sheets etc. 

Candy (name changed) is 35 years old and the sole caregiver for her mother and four children. She enrolled in our loans program last January, completed business training and received a loan to start a business. Prior to starting the program, she said, “at first I was living in fear to start a business as I’ve never done anything without a fear of failure”. However, she gained confidence during business training and with encouragement from our team, she started selling used clothes. With hard work and application of business principles, (such as sorting used clothes on quality and pricing them accordingly, choosing a good location etc.) her business is doing well. She is on track with repayments on her first loan and will receive two more loans, refresher training, and ongoing business mentoring for the next 18-20 months. Candy is happy that earnings from her business have resulted in a better diet and improved health for her family. In addition, she can now pay for water, electricity, and medicines. She is excited to continue to provide for her family, save more, and become a role model for others in her community.

Sue (name changed) is a 39-year-old widow and the sole caregiver for her six grandchildren. There are nine people in her household (six grandchildren and two children). She has two other children who are living elsewhere and dependent on relatives. Sue enrolled in our micro loans program in Sept 2021. She says that after completing business training she understood how she can increase earnings by purchasing/selling items, such as fruit/grains based on prices and costs. She used loan funds to expand the assortment of seasonal fruit and grains that she sells at the Tuesday market. After successfully repaying her first loan, she is on track with repayments on her second loan and will receive a third loan in the next few months. Currently, Sue is working hard to increase her savings and capital. She is being mentored by one of the graduates of this program. Sue is happy to be part of our loans program as it has helped her put food on the table.

Thanks for giving the opportunity of self-reliance to vulnerable women.

A Proud business owner and role model
A Proud business owner and role model
Business training material
Business training material
Business training in session
Business training in session
Business training in a church
Business training in a church

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A business training session in progress
A business training session in progress

We are proud of the 550 women enrolled in our micro loans program. Most faced challenges such as, high prices for raw materials, and COVID restrictions that made it difficult for them to keep their businesses afloat and profitable. During COVID, the women devised ways to keep their businesses running and pay for school expenses for their children. Given below are stories of two women who are our role models.

Amy (name changed), age 47, is the sole caregiver for her family of seven. In 2019, when she joined our micro loans program, she had no source of income and was having a hard time caring for her family. Post enrollment, she received business training, and her first loan. She used loan funds to buy used clothing in bulk and sell these at a higher price. Amy, a natural at spotting business opportunities, increased her capital and inventory within a few months. After successful repayment of her second loan, she started selling blankets during the cold season. Earnings from her businesses help pay for food, rent, and school expenses. Her strategy of adding a higher value item such as blankets, paid off and she is planning to add another store soon.Currently, she is on track with repayments on her third loan. We are confident that she will continue to grow her business even after graduating the program. In her words, “because of her business she can smile as she can pay for her family’s expenses”. Amy’s business skills and acumen helped her business grow despite COVID restrictions. She has been saving a small amount regularly and purchased building material to build a new home. She is a role model.

Stephanie’s (name changed) job as a housecleaner did not provide her with enough funds to pay for rent and utility bills. She is the sole caregiver for her five children (ages 12-22 years) and was looking for ideas to increase her income when she was introduced to Power of Love’s micro loans program. In 2019, she received business training and loan funds which she used to start a vegetable stand with tomatoes, carrots, and onions, essential ingredients in Zambian cuisine. Her vegetable stand located in one of the busy marketplaces in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia provides fresh groceries to several homes in the neighborhood. Earnings from her business enable her to pay for food, clothes, and education for her family. Stephanie has repaid her first two loans and is on track with repayments on her third loan. She feels empowered as she is not dependent on others. In Stephanie’s words, “micro finance is a fantastic program providing accessible financial support for women, this has really changed my life. Now I can stand strong and proud because of the help I have received from the center”.

Thanks for giving the opportunity entrepreneurship to vulnerable women.

Business training in progress
Business training in progress
Building material purchased with earnings
Building material purchased with earnings
A bridal dress maker
A bridal dress maker
A used clothing business pays for necessities
A used clothing business pays for necessities

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Organization Information

Power of Love Foundation

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Power of Love Foundation
Project Leader:
Alka Subramanian
Founder/Director
San Diego, CA United States
$33,855 raised of $40,000 goal
 
367 donations
$6,145 to go
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