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
Happy as an entrepreneur
Happy as an entrepreneur

The ongoing pandemic has made life more difficult for vulnerable communities globally. In resource poor communities, more families face food insecurity due to the impact of COVID, and other factors such as climate change and conflict. For the last 18 months our goal has been to keep families in our program educated on COVID prevention and healthy, and to ensure that children attend school/continue with schoolwork. 

Currently, we have 550 women who are running successful businesses in their communities. These businesses have become a valuable part of the community fabric as they provide services that may have not been in existence before such as a new hair salon that sells hair accessories or braids hair at affordable prices close to home. Also, most businesses provide employment to family members. These first-time entrepreneurs inspire us every day with their positive attitude and their creative solutions to overcome challenges. All of them are heroes. Given below are two stories of women who are proud business owners on the path to self-reliance.

Mary (name changed) is a widow and the sole caregiver for her five children. Life became exceedingly difficult after her husband passed away as he was the only earning family member. Two of her children had to drop out of school, and her son became extremely sick. Her son was enrolled in Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program and his health stabilized soon after. Being a part of a health care program gave Mary hope, and subsequently she enrolled in our micro loans program. In November 2020, Mary received business training and loan funds to open a hair salon as she has expertise in braiding hair. She located her salon near a bus station with high traffic and visibility (as advised while building a business plan). Her business is doing well, and she is on track with repayments. At a recent visit to her salon, Mary explained that she is planning to increase savings to purchase more hair supplies. She has continued working hard through COVID and was able to purchase more braids for reselling. Her children are back in school, she is on track with repayments, and proud of working for herself. In her words, “running a salon has made life easy”. As of June 2021, Mary had opened a second salon, and paid for her niece to complete a beautician’s course. Her niece is helping her run the second salon though business is slow due to COVID. Her son is much improved in health. Mary says that she does not have to depend on anyone for food or rent, she is her own master, and her quality of life has improved.

Emma (name changed) is the sole provider for her seven dependents. Before she enrolled in Power of Love’s micro loans program, life was hard as she had no source of income. After completing business training, she received a loan and started selling used clothing. She sought advice from the loans officer regularly to develop business skills and add to her capital and inventory. Over the past few months, she increased sales and revenues considerably, is on track with repayments on her third loan, and working hard to expand her business. She is happy as she can provide three meals a day for her family. She is thankful for the support and says that due to her business success she can smile as her family is able to pay for rent, food, medicines, and school expenses.

It is the positive attitude of the women that makes this program unique. Each woman is special and inspires us every day

Our goal with this program is that the women continue to run successful businesses, earn a stable income, build assets, and keep children in school. 

Thank you!

A presentation by a business owner
A presentation by a business owner
Business training in session
Business training in session

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Learning about challenges in business
Learning about challenges in business

Wishing all moms, a beautiful Mother’s Day. Today we are thinking of the mothers and aunts in Africa who cannot afford necessities such as food, medicines and rent for their families and school expenses for their children. Since last year, COVID has aggravated the situation.

To put more women on the path of self-reliance, 380 women were provided with business training this year. As a part of the business training provided, trainees create a business plan for their proposed business. This gives them a head start in anticipating challenges in business operations. In addition, 80 women were provided with loans to start businesses and the new businesses will be monitored closely to ensure success. Stories of two loan recipients who are now on the path to self-reliance and family sustainability are given below.

Jane, a 31 years old single mom is the sole caregiver for her six children. She received her first loan in December 2018 and is now on her third loan. In 2019, she started selling vegetables, worked hard, saved and has now diversified to selling higher value items such as used clothing and shoes. With earnings from her business, she is able to pay for food, medicines and rent. In addition, she paid for a skills training course for her oldest daughter. Jane appreciates the business training, loan funds, and ongoing business mentoring she has received over the last 24 months.  

Mary has three children and is the primary bread winner for her family as her husband is a part time volunteer pastor in a small church. With loan funds, she started a business that sells used clothing.  She has repaid two loans successfully and is now on her third loan. Mary appreciates the business training and ongoing support provided. At present, her family appreciates that earnings from her business enable them to eat a better diet so their health has improved and pay for school expenses.

Our goal with this program is that vulnerable women continue to run successful businesses so that there is income stability, they can build assets, are more financially literate, and children are in school. 

Thanks for giving vulnerable women an opportunity to run successful businesses. 

Presenting her business plan
Presenting her business plan
A business training session for new entrepreneurs
A business training session for new entrepreneurs

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Many women sell used clothing
Many women sell used clothing

A Unique Year

2020 was a year filled with challenges. Several programmatic changes were made to keep families safe from COVID and to minimize the impact of COVID on businesses run by loan recipients. We are happy to report that all program activities were completed in a safe manner and that none of the women enrolled got infected with COVID. Given below are a few highlights of the achievements of new women entrepreneurs in 2020 and plans for 2021.

A few highlights and achievements of the program in 2020:

  • New loans: were provided to 70 women.
  • Business training provided to 143 women.
  • Refresher training and mentoring provided to all loan recipients.
  • COVID response: Families are educated on prevention of COVID and provided with PPE (masks and hand sanitizers, soap). Children from the community attended COVID education workshops.
  • Clean cooking stoves:  In Zambia, most families use charcoal for cooking and heating which generates smoke that is harmful to health. To reduce smoke inhalation, 7000 families were provided with clean cooking stoves. Use of these clean cooking stoves has reduced fuel costs, and smoke inhalation. In addition, the women are encouraged to use the stoves as an income generating asset. 
  • All 470 women enrolled receive business monitoring, support, and ongoing training in business.
  • Repayments rates: Loan repayment rates are between 86-90% despite difficult circumstances faced by most women.
  • Graduates: A total of about 1,200 businesses are being run by women currently enrolled and those who have graduated from the program over the last 10 years. 
  • Malaria bed nets provided to all women and their families.

Program Impact: As a result of businesses started with loan funds, all 470 families are now eating two or three meals per day, all families reported an improvement in health, more than 900 children are in school, and the women are more financially literate. Many women have completed home repair or added a room, and some women have purchased assets such as land. Our goal is to provide nutrition, health care, and education to vulnerable women and children in Zambia.

 For 2021 our plan is to:

  • Provide new loans to 80 women to bring the total number of loan recipients to 550.
  • Provide ongoing business support and trainings to 500-600 women.
  • Track the 550 active businesses, so they continue to operate in the community even after the women graduate.
  • Encourage graduates to mentor/train new loan recipients.
  • Provide clean cooking stoves to an additional 10,000 women.
  • Provide long lasting insecticide treated nets to all families enrolled.

Thank you for empowering vulnerable women.

A restaurant started with loan funds
A restaurant started with loan funds
A Women's meeting
A Women's meeting
Cooking is fun with the new stoves
Cooking is fun with the new stoves

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A Proud Store Owner
A Proud Store Owner

2020 brought a whole host of unexpected challenges. However, since we know our communities well, and with a few adaptations in service delivery, none of the women or their families contracted COVID. We strengthened our business education, and training systems to ensure that there was no interruption in the delivery of services needed by the women while keeping everyone safe from COVID. Your continued support helped build the infrastructure essential for an effective response to the pandemic. Thank you! For a glimpse into a COVID education workshop watch this short video

2021 may bring more uncertainty, but our faith in the strength of our program activities has been confirmed. Thank you for giving vulnerable women an opportunity to run successful businesses so they can pay for food, rent, medicines, and school expenses.

Sending you and your family a tsunami of love for the holiday season and for 2021. 

Thanks for giving the gift of empowerment to vulnerable women in Zambia.

Running A Successful Business
Running A Successful Business
Sewing Uniforms To Sell
Sewing Uniforms To Sell

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Women participating in a business training session
Women participating in a business training session

With your support, this project continues to benefit more than 3,500 vulnerable women and their families in Zambia. In 2020, new loans, business training, and education was provided to more than 500 vulnerable women impacted by HIV. In addition, the women received education on COVID prevention, and PPE (masks, hand sanitizers, soap). 

Program activities: Last month, 143 women received business training and loans to start businesses. The training is participative, hands on, and in the local language as most women have never been to school and many do not know how to read or write. Training (including PPE) was provided is a safe manner to prevent the spread of COVID. After completion of training, the women are provided with loans to start businesses. These newly minted entrepreneurs are now applying the business principles learned during training. Each woman will receive a total of three consecutive loans, and ongoing business mentoring. Earnings from these businesses help the women pay for food, rent, medicines and school.

Program Impact: As the women are supported through the three loan cycles, there is an improvement in the health of families, more than 800 children are attending school, and the women start saving and building assets. With a regular source of income and improved health for the whole family, the women feel empowered and families are more financially sustainable. The impact of program activities is illustrated by stories of two women given below. Both women received business training and loans last year and are on track with loan repayments. Earnings from their businesses help pay for food, medicines, rent and school. Also, both women are more financially literate and are building assets. 

Patty (not her real name) is the sole caregiver for five children and three orphaned nieces. Her household consists of 10 members and they live in a three-room home. She was facing considerable challenges in taking care of her family as two of her nieces are HIV+ and her husband works part time. Before enrolling in our micro loans program last year, she was operating a fruit stand. After receiving business training and her first loan, Patty added eggs, soya, peanuts, kapenta (dried fish), and other grocery items to her store. Her business is doing well, and she is on track with repayments. Earnings from her business help pay for food, rent, medicines, and school expenses.

Katie (name changed) is the sole caregiver for her five children, and three orphaned nieces/nephews. She is an independent woman and refused support from her relatives. Her husband left a sewing machine when he died a few years back. She is a skilled seamstress but did not have funds to purchase material. After enrolling in our micro loans program last year, she purchased material for school uniforms. Katie is on track with repayments on her first loan. Her plan is to save more, so that she can buy additional fabric to start stitching and selling Chitenge (a Zambian skirt).   

Thanks for giving vulnerable women an opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs.

A happy business owner
A happy business owner
A Proud salon owner
A Proud salon owner
Depositing savings at a mobile bank
Depositing savings at a mobile bank

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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
$28,092 raised of $40,000 goal
 
346 donations
$11,908 to go
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