Ethiopia

Room renting and small shop

(Lubuaba, 42, widow, four children)

Lubuaba lost her husband seven years ago. Before his death, the income of their small grocery was mainly used for medicine. The widow was left without any means to cover the daily need of the family.

Two years ago Lubuaba applied to the Programme Committee for a first credit of 1000 Birr ($ 110). The credit was approved and she got the basic business training and individual advice.
The loan helped her to build three small rooms at the backyard of her hut. She rented them for 150 Birr monthly. This encouraged her to realize a second business idea, and after a full repayment of the first loan she lended 2000 Birr and restarted the small shop. Soon the grocery was running well, and the profit was sufficient to repay the credit and to satisfy the basic family demand. Then the first son completed the 10th grade of school and was without a job. Lubuaba acquired a third loan, which enabled the son to open a clothes shop of his own. She says: "Life has completely changed for me, for my son and for my other children due to the Swisshand fund. Now I am a successful business lady in my village and can even help my son to work self-employed".

Social impact: She has a regular income from renting the rooms. She runs a small shop with profit, and she has enabled one of her sons to be a young entrepreneur. She has become a selfconscious woman. All her children have got access to school and live in a much better situation. Lubuaba is independent now and looks ahead with confidence.

Lubuaba

 

Cattle rearing

(Bizunesh, 37 years, married, six children)

Bizunesh is living with her second husband in the rural part of Seqa. Eight months ago she got the business training and a loan of 1'000 Birr to buy one cow for dairy activities and three goats for rearing, as well as two chickens. She is lucky, her goats already have bred. Bizunesh is selling milk and eggs, and the young goats are ready for sale. Her husband and the children help in the agricultural activities. The family has a regular income now. She can even support the education of her children who are living with her first husband.

As chairwoman of the village's women group she is not only an entrepreneur, but also a social activist. She has initiated various training and information sessions. Hence she is helping her group members and neighbours by sharing information on HIV/AIDS, agricultural inputs, family planning, etc. Bizunesh says: I am very happy to share my knowledge with others. I do not have any more sorrow, my sorrows have gone. Thanks to the Swisshand fund I am living with hope. Now I am planning to change my old roof with new iron sheet. I have prepared some construction material for this purpose. I have a big vision for my children.

Social impact: She has improved the living conditions of her family. She involves her unemployed husband, and the children help in the daily farming work. The family is independent. As a leader she has very positive influence in the women group.

 

Bizunesh

 

Pottery

(Keriya, married, three children)

Keriya has been in pottery work since her childhood. She learned the skill from her parents. Her husband is an ex soldier, and his small pension cannot sustain the family. For years their house was in a very bad condition and school attendance was not possible for the children.
Keriya produces plates for enjera (Ethiopian f1at bread) making. With the first loan of 1'000 Birr she could expand the pottery work and produce 30 plates per week, selling them for 8 to 10 Birr each. From the profit she has enlarged their small hut to a two rooms house with an iron sheet roof. Now the family is under proper shelter, and there is a dry space to shelve her fragile products. She is planning to send her daughters to school. Keriya says: I have many thanks to the Swisshand programme. Currently I have fully repaid the credit and I would like to apply for a second one in order to buy a milk cow for my family.

Social impact: She has reached much better working conditions in the bigger and dry house and thus can produce enough to feed her family properly. Even access to school will be possible for her daughters. Her enthusiasm to change life might encourage other people with artisan skill.

 

Keriya