Yu is 33 years old and married with two daughters (14, 10) and a son aged 6 years.
Her first experience at borrowing money came when she was desperate, and the family was in need. She had no choice but to take out this loan from the money lender at a very high interest rate, because her children were ill and she needed to pay to take them to the clinic.
At that time Yu worked as a day laborer in the rice fields where she earned 3,500 Myanmar Kyat a day. She was always thinking about how to make more money and decided to focus on buying and selling brooms. She bought brooms and sold them in the local market. The turning point was when she and her husband learned how to make brooms.
She explains, “My broom making business gave me more money than being a day laborer, so I quit being a day laborer. In the beginning, broom making was difficult – I was struggling to make 30 brooms per day. Now my husband can make up to 100 brooms per day.”
She now makes five different kinds of brooms; she sells 150 brooms to a retail shop and also has people coming to their home to buy brooms.
She is a member of a VisionFund solidarity group of women where she has taken out two loans of 200,000 MK and 400,000 MK respectively. She used the loans to buy the raw materials to make and sell the brooms. Her husband makes the brooms and she manages the finances.
She proudly says, “Even though broom making provides a low income, it’s a stable income and each time I’ve taken out a loan my profits have increased.”
She has plans for her children to complete their education as she was only able to attend up to 5th grade because her parents couldn’t afford to send her to school. Already she has 100 MK in savings to make this happen.
She explains, “We want our children to be educated. Our eldest daughter already wants to be a teacher and I want them to work in the shade, not out in the sun.”