Grace Mwakabanga is a member of the Bukata GROW savings cooperative in Kitwe. She and her husband have 7 of their own children in addition to the 5 orphans they have taken in. They range in age from 2 to 20 years old. The older ones who aren’t in school, help with the family business.
The GROW group changed Mrs. Mwakabanga’s life and she says her only regret is that she didn’t join sooner!
When her husband stopped working, she realized she couldn’t support her family with just her small tailoring business, so she joined GROW. The first two years she didn’t make a profit, but in 2017 after borrowing k2000 (the equivalent of $175), she was able to buy feed for a chicken business and seedlings for a garden. From these businesses, she made almost k2000 in profit and re-invested the profits by purchasing 2 rabbits: 1 male and 1 female, which produced 15 more rabbits. Her business grew and she bought 10 packs of tomato and onion seedlings and 6 chickens which produced 100 more.
This story represents the best of what we do at Forgotten Voices – Bukata GROW savings cooperative has provided the 10 members of the group with enough income to care for 25 orphans in addition to their own families, it is in partnership with the local church, it is sustainable, it has multiplied (this savings groups launched other savings groups in the area), it restored the participant’s dignity and created a greater sense of community among church members. What more could you ask for?!