Jennifa’s story

Jennifa lives in a small village on the outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi. She recently divorced her husband and is a single mother with two children and two orphans in her care. On the same day these photos of Jennifa were taken, she was making her first repayment, and had attended a training session about the importance of making savings.

She has been running a hair salon for two years, but every week she struggled to make ends meet. When Jennifa became a single mother in 2021, she started a second business, selling tomatoes, to supplement her income. Still, she did not make enough money to keep her children in school. School fees, books and uniforms were too expensive. She couldn’t afford clothes for her children. The family often had to miss meals, and faced periods of hunger. Life was hard for them.

Although on her first loan cycle, Jennifa has already noticed a huge change in her daily life. She invested her loan (worth £100) in hair products and equipment for her salon, which has resulted in more customers.

Jennifa’s parents were farmers and could not afford to pay for her school fees. By the age of 16, she had only reached a basic level of primary education. Business and financial literacy training with MicroLoan Foundation has enabled Jennifa to upskill and grow her income. She learnt the importance of reinvesting profits, market research, and making savings for future hardship.

With her increased income, Jennifa spends her profits on providing everything her children need at home, clothes for her children, and groceries so the family can eat a healthy diet. She can afford cooking oil, and daily necessities like soap.

“I am living a good life now” she said.

Jennifa’s daughter Olivia shared how much she loves school. As one of the top 3 students in her class of 60, she hopes to become a nurse.

The root of Jennifa’s ambition and determination to succeed in business is to give Olivia and her siblings the chance to complete their education and achieve their dreams.

When asked what she’s saving for, Jennifa explained that she plans to purchase some land, and build a house on it. She said she makes savings every week with this goal in mind and hopes to build the house within the next year. She is determined to provide a safe home for herself and the four children in her care.

Published on: 16/11/2022

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