My name is Mary Daniel a mother of 3 children from Chikugwere village here in Ntchisi. I joined Village Savings Loan group (VSL) in March, 2018. I am also a member of a farmer club and a care group.
At first, things were not moving well in our family in terms of incomes (economy), and because of this the relations between I and my husband was not all good. There is nothing one could point at my house. The village agent called for a meeting through our village headman and is where I heard about the VSL. Both I and my husband joined the group, and we found the group interesting. I bought my first share with K200. I was making sure that each time the group meet I should be investing. I maintained purchasing more of K200 shares, and at the same time borrowing money for business. At first, I borrowed K4, 000 from the group and, I ordering 3 bags of charcoal which was going at K800 per bag. Each bag was sold at K 1,500. From the three bags I gained the profit of K2, 100. I did this business for about 7 months and I quitted because I was been followed by the police. In the 7 months period I made K86, 000 as my profit.
Mary Daniel narrating her story
I then started two other business of selling small groceries and alongside my hawker, I put some tomatoes and grounded groundnuts. Now is like am doing three businesses. Out of these businesses, I am able to pay school fees for my children and I also bought 3 bags of fertilizer ready for the next planting season. “I’m planning to have a shop in the future,” she said. However, my husband has his own business. He is a buyer, he buys maize and soya. He is also the member of the VSL. We make decisions together like how much should we borrow this month from the VSL, how much to contribute for school fees, what to grow and what to buy but some decisions I make alone, for example, what to cook. “This idea of making decisions together made us to develop our home. We have a vegetable garden, goats, Chickens, Peugeots, maize, soya and ground nuts. We also buy other foods just to supplement on the food we have.” She said. “My family is health, I live happily with my husband and we assist each other in most of the household chores,” she concluded.
PACHI in the area is trying to increase opportunities for women to access savings and loans through village savings and loans associations that have very little coverage in targeted area (TA Kalumo & Kasakula).
PACHI is implementing the project in the areas to improve VSL group members and women of reproductive age access to loans for businesses and later be able to supplement their homes with nutritious food. The project is being implemented with support from the Canadian Government through CARE Malawi.