Rose got married at an early age (18 years) and has two children; Trinity-14 years, and Trevor 9 years. Rose and her family used to live in poverty but she started a small tomato selling business within her area which she complemented with other small jobs like sand mining – work that is mainly done by men in the area at a river that is close to where she stays - and also doing household chores for other people in the area such as washing their clothes.
The income she made from these livelihood activities was still not enough to meet daily expenses to feed the family, and also buy school uniforms and other school materials for her children. Despite all this, she took in her late sister’s children Maureen who is 14 years and Eliza who is 13.
A friend introduced her to VisionFund and after finding out more she decided to obtain a loan - which was a starting point of her transformation. She got her loan valued at $83 which she used to top up her tomato selling business and also to start selling fish and other grocery items. Currently, she has accessed her fourth loan worth $250 which she has used to establish a grocery shop by her house where she now also sells maize grain, cooking oil, and baking flour among others. The grocery shop is called ‘Mama Trizza Min Shop’.
“With the help of my loan officer Alinane, I have become an expert at managing my loans. Her advice to me about how I can use the loans profitably have also greatly contributed to my success. I am grateful for her help as I consider her a great part of my success - she has helped me get loans on time that have gradually increased in value,” she says.
Currently, the problems her family used to face are a story of the past because she is able to feed the family and also support the education of both her own and her late sister’s children, buying school uniforms, and other school materials for all the children under her care.
Her business has not only benefited Rose and her family but also the community at large. It has reduced long distances that people used to walk to access groceries such as cooking oil from distant shops. The community benefits through the fair prices she charges for her commodities, and the items she sells in her shop such as cooking oil, flour and sugar are used by women in the area for their small businesses to cook meals and bake confectionaries that they sell within the area, thereby earning income that also supports them and their families.
Her influence encourages people, particularly other women, to venture into VisionFund groups for transformation as she proudly displays a VisionFund placard to show her community the part VisionFund has played in her success through the business loans it offers her.
Rose’s vision is to venture into international trade despite her education background. “I thank God for opening doors for me through VisionFund. I trust that God together with visionFund will help me fulfil my vision,” she says.
Story by Alinane Mkwezalamba, VisionFund Malawi