The Women of JUAf

I’m back in Africa for a few months working with the women of JUAf. I’d like to introduce you to the women of our organization and give you a small message from each of them. We didn’t get a chance to interview all the women of our organization, but did interview a sampling (approximately 25 JUAf members) and asked them to tell us a little bit about themselves, and the impact the microfinance loans have had on their lives over the past year. The below notes are taken directly from the women in their own words – translated from Swahili to English.

Agnes Philipo

The JUAf Village has helped me to come out a miserable life to a better life. I’m happy for the loan given by JUAf it has enabling me to do my business. Although I’m a widow, I feel like my husband is still alive because when I’m given the loan, I do my business just like other women who have their husbands. When I took my loan, I chose to do farming of rice paddy, whereabouts after selling the rice I was able to take my child to school. The money also helped me with many things which I was not able to cover myself. Now I have taken my second loan and I’m happy. My request is for JUAfto increase the loan amount please so I can double my business. My name is Agnes Philipo.

Lea Sirayo

My name is Lea Sirayo, being a member of JUAf is a lucky thing. When other people come to the village and starts organization, they always select young people and strong to work with them. It has been different with JUAf, because when they say that they want to work with ‘vulnerable groups’ they didn’t differentiate the young and the old people. I feel young working among young people. Given loans make me to be busy. Thanks hundred times to JUAf.

Helen Philipo

They call me Helen Philipo. I’m married and I have one child, a beautiful girl named Dabora. A few months after I was married, I was carrying my first pregnancy. My husband lost vision of both eyes. I am now the father and the mother of the family, and I am responsible for their daily needs. I am very thankful to JUAf, for the loans and knowledge which they have given us. They have inspired me a lot. I’m working very hard so that I can change the life of my family. My request is for JUAf or someone to offer to sponsor education to my beloved child. My child’s father has given up, and can do nothing. Despite all of this, I am very happy to be a member of JUAf because they are my second hand.

Judith Marko

No one can tell me not to attend JUAf meetings, as once my husband didn’t allow me to go to JUAf meetings. Nowadays, when I am back from the meeting, he asks me what went on during our meeting. This is because he has noticed the benefit we get from the loan which I have been given by JUAf. I have many friends who want to join JUAf, but the JUAf needs more microfinance money to give out more loans. – I’m called Judith Marko

Vick Massa

I really like development, but unfortunately when I got married I was very young. The man I married was not of my choice, and I was forced by my parents to marry. I wanted a good life, but my husband was drinking a lot. Hence, I was the one who had to care for the family. My husband died and left me to care for the children. When Asha and Judi came to our village I was the one to receive them. I listened to their idea, and I was very happy. As a member of JUAf, I have benefited a lot from the education received and the loan given.

Ruth Mungure

My name is Ruth Mungure, I love JUAf, as they have done good things for me. I was trained in entrepreneurship by JUAf, and they arranged to train us again in Village Banking – VIKOBA. Now as a member of JUAf, I benefit with two loans – one from JUAf and another one from VIKIOBA. I’m happy because my life has changed. We pray very much that JUAf can get enough money and give us good amount of money so that we can extend our business.

Fatuma Adian

I have started doing the farming of vegetable since I was a young woman. Unfortunately my selling was very low, and whatever I got from the market didn’t satisfy the needs of my family. Iwas very happy when I heard about JUAf, and they accepted me to become a member. I appreciated them for the training we received because it has helped me to do my business nicely. – by Fatuma Adian

Sabina Gabriel

I am Sabina Gabrie, and I really enjoy to be a JUAf member. My life is terrible, and I do not have a home or many good things in my life. I want development, that’s why I like JUAf. They give me development. They are giving us a lot of knowledge and loans. I used my loan for buying vegetables and I take them to the market for selling. I’m sure if we continue to be given education training, and given more loans, my life will change.

Tasimbora Nasari

My life has changed a lot, and my neighbors are anxious to know what is happening to my family. I am married, but before I became a member of JUAf, our life was a tough one. I was doing small business, but with no success because I didn’t have the capital to run the business. My husband was doing cheap labor, but the money was not enough. After I received the entrepreneurship education and given loan by JUAf, I now have an understanding life.

Beatrice Shedrack

I started farming of vegetables since I was a young woman. Unfortunately my selling was very low, and whatever I got from the market did not satisfy the needs of my family. I was very happy when I heard about JUAf, and was accepted as a member. I appreciated the business training we received because it has helped me to do my business nicely. I am Beatrice Shedrack

Juliet Naimani

My name is Juliet Naimani. I like educating myself, my dream was to become a teacher, unfortunately, straight after my standard seven (grade 7) I was forced to get married. I am a mother of two children, I’m happy to be a member of JUAf. My dream is one day to continue with my education and become a teacher.

Mary Stephano

My name is Mary Stephano. I have never been a member of any organization. When I was asked to join JUAf, I really hesitated. But now I’m very happy as my life has changed from the training we have received and the loans. I am owa small business woman, and I can budget my things do them without waiting for someone else to make decisions.

Uenike Lucas

I started making local beer when I was divorced by my husband, and came to live with old mother. I didn’t know what to do as I had to take care of my old mum. The capital I had was very small, so we had to spend it on domestic use. However, after I received the entrepreneurship training organized by JUAf, and given loans, I am now proud because I can save and spend some with my mother, and I have bought three goats. – byUenike Lucas

Sophia Rashidi

My name is Sophia Rashidi. I am very happy to be a member of JUAf. My life has changed a bit. After being given a loan, I now buy vegetables from other people’s farms, and take to the market for selling. Now I can handle my own money and do shopping for the family.

Eliawinga Kitomari

JUAf is very nice. They have enrolled me as a member though I’m very old. I live with my grandchildren and I buy vegetables from my neighbors farm and take them to the market for selling. This is how I spent my loan from JUAf. My name is Eliawinga

Elinora Shayo

My name is Elionora Shayo. I’m very happy to be a member of JUAf and happy for the education I received (and continue to receive) from JUAf. Being able to make money makes me feel like I am a woman who can be proud of what I’m doing. With my money I can make decisions, a plan, and do whatever I want for my family’s development

Happy Skawa

Happy is my name, and I’m always very happy. I am a single parent and a mother of one child. I am the father and the mother to my child. With JUAf loans I will do my best so that my child gets a good education. My request to JUAf, please will you increase the loan.

Eliesh Noel

I was the last one to get the loan in the group, but I didn’t give up. I was attending every JUAf meeting. In fact, Asha was giving me good reason why there was no loan to be given, because we needed more microfinance money to provide business loans to new members. God is great, and my attendance was blessed. One of the JUAf members had to leave the village for another town. Asha then called me and said that we now have a vacancy available to provide a loan. I couldn’t believe my ears. Now, I’m a member of JUAf, and I have taken my first loan and I’m very very happy. Thank you JUAf. – by Eliesh Noel

Ecobeth Lazaro

Being old is not a problem when you’re busy working , and you can earn your own money. JUAf has made me to become young, as when I take the loan, I have to work hard and get the profit in order to cover my own expenses at the same time to return the loan. Thank you JUAf and its leadership – by Ecobeth Lazaro

Lightness Mbise

My name is Lightness Mbise. I am single, and I live with my mother. Life is so tough as I must do labor work for other people in the community. I am very happy with JUAf as I am now able to employ myself. After I received my first loan, I started to buy vegetables from my neighbors farm and take them to the market for selling.

We request JUAf to increase the loan size so that we can continue to get a bigger loan once we repay.

Christina Maulidi

My name is Christina Maulidi. The loan given to me by JUAf has helped me to get profit from my small business. I will be more grateful if I will be given more money which I will use in my business and get better profits.

Florence Sirayo

JUAf has made me to be me. Before I became a member of JUAf, I lived a miserable time. The small business which I was doing didn’t help much because my capital was small. The loan given to me by JUAf has increased my capital, and now I’m buying vegetables from the farm and selling them twice a week at the market. My life now is a little bit soft. Thank you JUAf. I’m called Florence Sirayo

Anna Zaphania

My name is Anna Zaphania. I am a single mother of five children. JUAf has helped me a lot. I have received the entrepreneurship training before I was given the loan. I used my loan by increasing the capital of my small shop. I would like to ask JUAf to increase the loan.

Khadija Mohammed

My name is Khadija Mohammed. I’m a single mother, taking care of my children. I would like if JUAf will increase their loan amount. My first loan received from JUAf I bought sheep, and the food for the sheep. I have now sold them, and made a profit. My second loan received from JUAf, I have hired a farm and cultivated the rice paddies.

Yunis Philipo

My name is Yunis Philipo. I enjoy to be a member of JUAf. They have helped to be what I am now. Once, I didn’t have anything to do. I was doing labor work from farm to farm and get small amount of money which I used to by some vegetables and take them to the market. Now, I have a loan. I have hired a farm and I cultivate my own vegetables and sell them, which gives me a good profit.

Mary Lyatuu

My name is Mary Lyatuu. I live with my grandchildren. I take care of them and my earnings depend on farming. I am happy to be a member of JUAf. Nowadays, I’m very busy with my farm work as I have hired another piece of land and I’m cultivating more vegetables for selling. Thank you JUAf for all that you do for vulnerable people.

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