Mavis Soko is the proud owner of a restaurant in Kafue, a town in southern Zambia called Mayo Waluse which means ‘Mother of Compassion’. Mavis set up the restaurant a year ago with a loan and business training from MicroLoan Foundation. With the profits, Mavis has been able to provide her family with better opportunities for their future.
Living in poverty
Mavis has four children, who live with her and her husband in a one bedroom house. A year and a half ago, the Soko family was living in extreme poverty. Not able to afford enough food, they would often go to bed hungry. For Mavis’ children, their situation meant that they regularly missed school as a result of not being able to pay the fees. This is a pattern across Zambia for families living in poverty. Despite high enrolment rates, the percentage who complete schooling is much lower, as the World Bank notes. Forced to drop out because of unpaid fees, not being able to afford books or uniforms, or having to work to contribute to the family income, children miss out on education that is vital for their future.
How Mavis’ restaurant has improved life for her family
Mavis heard about MicroLoan Foundation a year ago, and joined Mapalo group in her village. Mapalo means blessing and Mavis thinks that MicroLoan has been a blessing in her life. As the treasurer of the group, Mavis plays an important role in helping the group work together to ensure that everyone’s businesses are a success. While each of the women face problems sometimes, Mavis says that working together as a group makes it easier to find solutions.
With her first loan, Mavis opened her restaurant and with subsequent loans has invested in it so it can keep growing.
Her weekly profits have increased dramatically, which has meant that Mavis is able to put food on the table for her family and can pay the school fees for her two children who are still at school. While Mavis’ husband does earn an income, providing for a family of 6 was difficult. The restaurant has reduced the pressure on him as the sole provider, and helped the family to reach a higher level of financial security.
There are many more women struggling to feed their families. With your support we can reach them.