On my last morning in Kigali, we met with the leaders of the Market Cooperative. This group is always one of my favorites. They are a dynamic group of women that are having much success and continue to be able to take larger and larger loans, as they pay back previous ones. If you would like a better understanding of what this cooperative does, you can read about it here: http://www.pilotlightfund.org/market-cooperative. I am really tired tonight and trying to keep this brief.
Francine is a member whose husband left and never came back, leaving her with the kids. Through our project, she has been able to increase the size of her house, send all of the kids to school and to feed them three meals a day. She is very happy with the outcome of the project.
Speciose is another member. She is the sole member of her family that earns income and says she feels good about being a provider. It has given her confidence. She helps others in the group when they are struggling and is a natural leader.
Aline is one of the original members. She has been able to make her house bigger and to connect her house to the electricity, which costs around 250.00. That is a huge sum for women who work in jobs like these.
Another women has six kids and a husband who is mentally ill. She is saving to buy a small plot of land to build a home and is able to feed her kids very well.
PLF is now giving incentive to cooperative members to give their payback on time each month. For every six months of a perfect record of payback, PLF will pay school fees for one of their kids. The goal is to add another 10 members each year. The number is currently at 22 women.