It takes a lot of hard work, courage and pride to face the challenges that Vicky has. She never got the chance to go to school because her parents could not afford to pay the school fees. She got married when she was 20 years old, and she and he husband had six children. It was always a struggle to provide for them and keep them in school. She never thought that she would be able to support herself and her five children. But when she joined her THRIVEGulu savings group, her attitude began to change.
“When I heard that THRIVEGulu was forming the savings group, I was hesitant to join at first, because it was hard to see what the benefit would be,” she laughed. She added, “But education is important, and it helps you to see things differently.” With the support of the other group members and the THRIVEGulu staff, she began to see that even with her limited education, she could achieve big things when she came together with her community.
She told us, “Being in the group and the training THRIVEGulu has given us has helped me improve my household economic status by cultivating the spirit of savings, which I never knew before.” For Vicky, her savings group has helped equip her with valuable tools to grow crops on her small farm and build her baking business.
“In 2015, for my first time in my life, I was able to save 250,000 shillings (about $75), part of which I invested in my business, and the other part to cultivate my farm land. In 2016, I doubled my savings, to 500,000 shillings,” she told us proudly. She was also able to borrow 700,000 shillings, which on top of what she had been able to save, she used to buy three acres of land outside of town. She planted beans, which she was able to sell for a profit and repay the loan from the group. Now she has worked with her husband to plant cassava, which they will harvest later in the year. They hope to use the profits from that harvest to buy iron sheets to make improvements to their house.
With just a bit of support from her neighbors and THRIVEGulu, Vicky is now able to see the possibilities available to her. We can’t wait to see how far she’ll go.