Every day is Take your Child to Work Day in rural East Africa. Multi-tasking is the way of life. Our borrowers juggle their child care responsibilities with tending the garden which supplies most of the family’s food, caring for the house, and running their businesses. Their businesses become family affairs, with the husband or the children assisting in the various aspects. Put your baby on your back and get to work!
Take Rebecca, for example.
Rebecca is an involved member of her church congregation, wife and mother of six. She was born, raised and currently lives in her home village of Kaama, Uganda with her husband and children. Rebecca has had her own tailoring business for 14 years. She came into the WMI program an experienced, knowledgeable tailor, but saw WMI’s loan program as a way to learn the skills necessary to be a successful businesswoman.
As soon as she received her first loan, Rebecca began buying additional materials; fabrics to create new clothes, as well as linings and threads to repair and alter clothes her customers bring to her. Already, Rebecca says that the purchases made with her WMI loan have given her the ability to cater to the needs of a wider variety of customers.
In addition to increasing the variety of customers she is able to serve, Rebecca’s loan has also allowed her to increase her outputs. With the influx of new materials, Rebecca has been able to delegate tasks to her oldest daughter, who is currently training to become a tailor herself. On the days Rebecca is working in the Bugusege market, her daughter is now able to work from their home in Kaama village, meaning that the women can be working with customers from a greater number of villages.
Rebecca’s training has also meant that she is now creating detailed, long-term budgets and savings for her and her family. She is currently able to pay for her children’s school fees, and by putting money away each month she is putting herself in a position to continue to pay fees for the entirety of their schooling. Her savings have also helped ensure her family’s ability to deal with unexpected costs and medical treatments. This greater financial know-how has positively impacted Rebecca’s marriage. She is now able to buy goods for herself, her children and her home without have to gain permission from her husband.
Looking forward, Rebecca hopes that her business will expand even further in the coming year. She believes that further expansion is possible because of her access to capital as well as her increased profits, which are a direct result of her purchasing more inputs. Ultimately, Rebecca’s dream is to use her abilities as a tailor and a businesswoman to establish a clothing shop where she will be able to store, advertise and sell all of her own creations.
Thanks to all the WMI donors who share our vision to combat poverty through empowering women. We plan to help many more women just like Rebecca by giving them the skills they need to support their families. Won’t you help us today?
Rebecca at her Tailoring Shop