A loan of $5,000 helped a member 100 pairs of shoes.

Twende Mbele Group's story

J. Kabuo T. is president of the loan group, Twende Mbele, and it is her raising her hand on the photo. She is 37 years old, married and mother to five children, all at school. Her husband is a small businessman and has a pharmacy in Butembo, a commercial town which lies in the Lubero territory, more than 410 km from Goma.

J. Kabou T. sells second-hand shoes at the central market in Virunga. She began her small business with her own funds which she received from her husband after the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on the 16th - 17th February 2002, which completely destroyed the economy and basic infrastructure of Goma. Her initial capital was just $50. She has been carrying out her second-hand shoe selling business for the past eight years.

With the loan from IMF Hekima, J. would like to increase her turnover by buying 100 pairs of second-hand shoes. The big challenge in this business is that the flow of goods (the purchase of shoes) depends on the circulation of money (people's income). Furthermore, the competition of shoes made in Uganda/Kampala agitates the price.

In the future J. plans to strengthen her business, increase the level of her deposit account with IMF Hekima and finally to access a more significant loan in proportion to her savings.

In the coming ten years her ambition is to become a large wholesale businesswoman rather than a small retail businesswoman. She is planning on getting her supplies at source in the large commercial centre either in Kampala or in Butembo. Furthermore, J. Kabou T. rents her home and would like to buy a piece of land and build a house. Given that her husband works far away from her, this would allow her to reduce the burden of the family expenses.

J. is grateful to IMF Hekima for the loans which she receives without any material guarantee, since thanks to these loans, she will be able to provide for the needs of her children.

The Twende Mbele group is made up of 16 female members.

In this group: Zawadi, Kabuo, Kanyere, Sakina, Shangano, Zawadi, Balisema, Kavira, Makwasa, Matunda, Bengehya, Singiziya, Furaha, Lubuto, Faida, Clementine

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Alison Le Bras

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