Frederick Douglass says that if there is no struggle, there is no progress. Stories of struggle often portray the sweetest victories.
This month’s story is one of struggle but in the end victory and progress. We are so glad to be part of this turnaround.
Anastacia Muthoni is a 45-year-old woman and a beneficiary of HopeCore’s Micro Lending Program. She is married and blessed with three children. Her jovial nature appeals to everyone that meets her.
Anastacia’s childhood was similar to many other children’s in Kenya. Due to her family’s financial situation, Anastacia only managed to complete her primary education. Even though she knew she needed more education, Anastacia instead got married soon after and started her own family. She began farming on the small piece of land her family lived on. The challenges were numerous every way she turned. Through growing maize and beans, she was only able to raise a monthly income of 3500 Kenyan Shillings (KES) or $35 U.S Dollars.
This income was hardly enough to sustain them both or finance the education of their children.
Despite the meager profits, Anastacia persevered with her hope of one day having a successful cereal resale business. She started small, buying cereals such as wheat, maize, beans, sorghum, and green grams and selling at a local market.
In July 2016, she joined Kamuri Self-Help Group where she met individuals who were struggling to make a life but one thing they had in common was the determination not to stay where they were.
The group registered with HopeCore in January 2016 to become HopeCore Associate groups. The Group received their soft loan of KES 30,000 (USD 300). The group received education from the HopeCore Micro Enterprise team on the program mission, the operations as well as terms and conditions. (Learn more about how Micro Lending works here). The group was also trained on how to conduct table banking and received a lot of training and education on how to continually improve their various enterprises.
Anastacia took the training seriously and her business slowly started growing. She invested the small loans from the group’s revolving fund and her profits started to grow. The group’s hard work, determination, and consistency paid off as the group was awarded a normal loan of KSH 360,000 (USD 3600). Anastasia received KSH 30,000 (USD 300) with which she used to fully venture into cereals resale business. She confesses that this was a turning point for her. She used the knowledge she had received during the one-week business training to start her business and sustain it to the best of her ability.
Her efforts soon paid off and her monthly income increased to KES 30,000(USD 300).
She sells at a local market to increase exposure and accessibility to her customers. In addition to selling cereals, she also sells and grows green bananas to get additional income. Her customer base continues to grow and so does her profit.
Her current monthly income from her cereals resale business stands at KES 53,000 (USD 530), expenses at KES 24,000 (USD 240), leaving her with a profit of KES 29000 (USD 290). From her green banana resale business, she gets a monthly income of KES 30,000 (USD 300).
With her increased income, she is now able to comfortably finance the education of her children; especially of one who is in University. She also installed electricity in her home and piped water for both domestic and irrigation use, hence improving her sanitation conditions.
She also bought a dairy cow which is currently expecting a calf, and she will soon be getting milk which will also make another source of income.
Anastacia has recently completed repaying her first cycle and has maintained a 100% repayment rate throughout the two years she has been with us.
She has continued to excel and we will continue to support her.