Francis Mugami Kirima is a member of the Suhagi Lords Hopecore Self-Help Group, all of whose members are dealing with HIV/AIDS. Funds for their training and loans was provided by Food For Thought of Forestville, CA.
Francis has an inspirational story of how a person living with the HIV/AIDS virus can use economic success to reduce the stigma and ridicule people in his situation frequently endure from their community. He has realized nearly a 3000% increase in his monthly income within a two-year loan cycle.
Francis is a 44 year old married man. His wife, Agnes Riara, is 43 years old. The couple have 2 dependants. Prior to getting the loan from VHI, Frances generated a monthly income of only $6.75—less than a quarter a day. Investing his loan from VHI to diversify and expand his farming business, he is now able to generate a monthly income of $200.00. Frances joined Sihagi Lords HIV/AIDS group in 2005 when it entered the Merry-go-Round phase to learn how group members work together and support each other in achieving personal goals.
He started a bull-rearing business that year using personal savings and a one-time contribution from group members. After the group members qualified for $400 VHI loans in 2007, he chose to improve and diversify his farming business by purchasing a goat and buying fertilizer to increase the crop yields from his farm. In this way he has been able to better care for his wife and children and open new opportunities for their future.