Joséphine, a young widow and mother from Kasama in the Northern Province of Zambia
Shortly after leaving school, Josephine went into sales by opening a grocery store. Josephine and her husband led a comfortable life and she had plans to develop her business. Then tragedy struck them when Joséphine’s husband passed away suddenly. Then, as a young widow, she became the sole breadwinner for the six children in her care, including two orphans.
Josephine explains that, for a long time, she was doing just enough to survive and that she was not able to pay her children’s school fees on a regular basis. She was struggling to make a living from her business. On several occasions, Josephine remembers not being able to provide even one meal a day to her children, and of course, this seriously affected their performance at school.
Josephine owes a large part of her ability to support herself and keep her business to her friends who have come together to support her and ensure that her family can feed themselves.
Seeking independence, she wanted to find a way not to have to depend on her friends to support her family, as she no longer wanted to feel like a burden. Witnessing the success of her friends’ businesses, she asked them how she could also evolve and discovered MicroLoan Foundation Zambia (MLF-Z) in April 2019.
With the support of MLF-Z, Josephine was able to slowly rebuild her business and used her loan to regularly replenish inventory to meet local demand, which more than doubled her weekly profits. Her eldest is now 22 years old and the youngest 9 years old. Josephine is now able to send all of her school-age children to school. Children no longer need to go to school hungry, which has significantly improved their performance.
“MicroLoan Foundation Zambia has helped me regain confidence in myself and my ability to take care of my family independently.”
Josephine continues to build on the success of her grocery store and is now able to continue with the expansion plans she had before her husband passed away. “The training of Micro-Loan Foundation has taught me the importance of reinvesting the profits of my business, and now I dream of becoming a wholesaler.”
Josephine jumped at every opportunity that presented itself to benefit from the mentorship of the training officers of the MFI and, thanks to their guidance, she was able to seized the opportunity to start a rice farming business with the profits from her grocery store. “MLF-Z has helped me improve my business and diversify my income. I am now a respected figure in the community and many women ask me for advice ”.