I am glad we didn't rely on just one business. Our pig breeding and rice mill business, together with the continuing support of VisionFund, will see us through this crisis.
Daw Ni Ni Nwle and her husband started out married life running a rice mill business, which she inherited from her family.
Initially, they earned enough income to meet their needs. But after having three children, they began to struggle financially. To make ends meet, they began taking loans from local money lenders at high interest rates.
Soon, mounting debts forced them to sell the rice mill and migrate to Thailand to try and earn enough money to support their children. During this time, they had to leave the children behind with Daw Ni Ni's parents. But being away from the children made them unhappy, so they returned to Myanmar to find another way to earn income.
Daw Ni Ni found out about VisionFund Myanmar in 2019 and took out her first loan of 500,000 kyats to start a tea shop. With subsequent loans, she was able to expand the shop and start selling snacks and cold drinks.
The tea shop did well, and the couple were able to pay off their debts, buy back their rice mill and restart that business. They also began breeding pigs and benefited from livestock training provided by World Vision.
When COVID-19 hit, and the government put movement restrictions in place, the tea shop started losing money and eventually they had to close it for over four months. But all was not lost. They were able to continue rice mill operations and the pig breeding business, which was the family's real-life saver.
The couple are grateful that they can meet all their children's needs. They want them to have a good future and value education highly.
Soon, Daw Ni Ni plans to take out her fifth VisionFund loan so they can build a brick house and start a new grocery business.