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
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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Selling used clothes
Selling used clothes

The Power of Love team extends heartfelt thanks for your dedication to making the world a better place. 

Looking back, 2021 was a year that made us stronger and proud of our teams and beneficiary families in Zambia and India. Our care process for the children, revamped due to COVID last year, was further strengthened so that we are monitoring the health of children more closely than ever. We doubled down on collecting more data. In addition, the provision of COVID education and PPE has kept families safe from COVID. We were able to safely distribute 15,000 mosquito nets and prepare the community for the upcoming malaria season. Since many families were impacted economically, we were able to expand the loans program so that more women became self-sufficient. We could not have done this without your support. Thank you! 

Please take a few minutes to listen to this popular Zambian song. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Sending you and your family a whole lot of love for the holiday season and for 2022. 

Selling chicken and fritters
Selling chicken and fritters

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Micro Loans Program

Power of Love’s women’s empowerment program has improved the quality of life of hundreds of women and their families. At present, this program benefits more than 11,000 (current enrollees and graduates) vulnerable adults and children in Zambia. All 551 women enrolled receive three loans, business training, ongoing business mentoring, and monitoring. All training is COVID safe, participative, hands on, and in the local language as most women have never been to school. So far, this year 680 women received business training, 81 new loans were added, 470 women received refresher training, 255 women received business mentorship. In addition, all women and their families receive insecticide treated nets to keep them safe from malaria and so that children do not miss school due to ill health. Finally, clean cooking stoves were provided to 8,500 community members and education on COVID is provided regularly. All these program activities help families break the vicious cycle of poverty, poor health, and low education so they can and enjoy a higher quality of life. Micro loans, along with training and support, are transformative.

How Loans and Training in Business Change Lives

In the short term, earnings from businesses help pay for food, medicines, rent and school expenses. The diet and nutrition of all families improves leading to better health; more than 1,100 children are attending school/skills training classes, families are better informed about HIV prevention, many women have invested in income earning assets such as an extra room or a plot of land, and loan recipients have built strong social networks. In addition, the women have become more financially literate, and many loan recipients enjoy a higher status in the community.

In the long term, the community is stronger and more self-reliant as more children graduate high school, women encourage others to work hard, there is reduced HIV related stigma, and there is a change in the culture as men come forward to help with businesses. All these lead to social and economic empowerment of women and improved gender equity.

Next steps and plan for Nov/Dec 2021

  • Provide 50 new loans to bring the total to 600.
  • Provide business training to 209 women.
  • Provide refresher training to an additional 81 women to bring the total to 551 women this year.
  • Provide business mentoring to an additional 215 women to bring the total to 470 women in 2021.
  • Track the 551 active businesses, so they continue to operate in the community.
  • Stay connected with graduates and encourage them to mentor/train new loan recipients.
  • Encourage recipients of clean cooking stove recipients to use these as an income generating asset.
  • Launch a program for women/families to start back yard gardens.

At Power of Love, we measure success by ensuring sustainability of the family and not so much by repayment rates and financial sustainability of our program. Further, since this project is part of a larger comprehensive health care program, the impact is much bigger and sustained over a long period of time. 

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

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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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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
$33,604 raised of $40,000 goal
 
362 donations
$6,396 to go
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