Drocella is a local woman who has benefited from this project. She told us her story...
I have a husband and 6 children. Before I joined a self help group in my village. It was as if I was in prison. I was locked in this prison of poverty and I always had this torture of my children asking me for things like books and pens for school, and I could not provide. I could only say to them, 'my child, where do you think I could get this money, you know that I do not work. You know I don't have this money that you are asking for.’
When they couldn't get an answer from me, they would then go to their father and he would tell them that he could not provide them what they asked either. We lived the kind of life where we struggled.
I was the first to join the group and after joining the group and doing the training, I was the first to get a loan and I got a loan of 3,000RWF (£3).
Because I knew people who were able to grow good vegetables, I would go to them to buy some of their harvest. From this loan I was able to buy vegetables and also some books for my children. I went to the market and managed to sell all the vegetables I had bought and made a profit.
After taking out this loan, I decided to invest again and used what I had left to buy salt and soap. During that night I prayed to God, 'Please God, help me to get a very high profit from these items.'
When I went to the farmers the next morning, I got the same quantity of vegetables for cheaper than the previous day. Again I went to the market and made a profit on the vegetables. I started to do this at different markets. I have paid back the group and bought books for my children and other domestic items.
My dream is to change my business and expand, so I am going to go back to the group and ask for a bigger loan of 10,000RWF to buy chickens or goats to sell them on and expand the business.