An Update on the Project “Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia”
We would like to thank our donors for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia take the first steps towards self-reliance.
Power of Love’s microloans program empowers women impacted/affected by HIV/AIDS who are left out of traditional microloan programs and helps them become self-sufficient. You will be happy to know that in April 2012, we distributed loans to 90 women entrepreneurs in our micro loans program in Zambia. For these 90 women this was the third loan cycle and they expect to finish repayments by November 2012. These women were provided with business training and their first loan in 2010. Since then they have been running their businesses and supporting their families with earnings from their business. As a result of earnings from their businesses the women have been able to send their children to school and more than 73 children have been able to continue school as a result of this program. Most important, we are proud of our women entrepreneurs who have learned the value of savings, and now save a small amount each day. Out of this group, 71 women have savings and more than 50% have savings in a bank account. When they joined our program in 2010, less than 5% of these women had savings.
The average amount saved is small, but it helps the women (i) take care of emergencies such as sicknesses, funerals, and school fees/expenses, (ii) purchase raw material/inventories for their business, and (iii) help the women to continue running their business after they have completed the maximum of three loan cycles and have graduated from our program.
The long-term impact of our micro loans program is to allow women to start planning, saving, and building a better future for themselves and their families. Our women entrepreneurs take the first steps towards self-reliance, and become role models and mentors for other women in the community. The program has a substantial impact on the community beyond the program participants themselves.
Most of the women in Power of Love’s micro loans program have built successful businesses and are eager to continue their growth. We are proud of our women entrepreneurs, who with your generous donations have been able to support themselves and their families, run thriving businesses, and take the first steps towards self-reliance.