A loan helped a member 15 bags of charcoal.

Bénédiction Group's story

Mapendo Nazirambula is president of the Bénédiction loan group, and it is her raising her hand in front of the door on the photo. A customer on her fourth loan, she is 33 years old and married. She is mother to seven children, of whom five go to school, the other two being still small children. Her husband is unemployed. Mapendo sells charcoal. She began this business with her own capital, given to her by her husband when he was working in a private individual's hardware store. Her initial capital was $50. She sells the charcoal at a public market in the Alanine area of the urban municipality of Goma, eight kilometers from the centre of town. Mapendo has been carrying out this charcoal business for five years. She gets her supplies in the village of Kichanga, in the Masisi territory, which is the domain of General Nkunda, the ex-leader of the rebel movement CNDP, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The problem for Mapendo is that she does not yet have the means to fill a full lorry by herself, so she is obliged to get together with another businesswoman in order to share the transactional costs and the expense of renting a vehicle to transport the goods. For the future her ambition is to grow her business, reach a capital of $1,500, and finally realise her dreams, notably of opening a large warehouse for charcoal and a hardware store. Furthermore, the main concern for Mapendo is for her husband to find work.

Mapendo is grateful to IMF Hekima for the regular loans she receives without having to provide any material guarantee. Thanks to these loans she is able to provide for the multiple needs of her family, above all during this period when her husband is out of work.

The Bénédiction group is made up of 13 members, all of whom are women.

In this group: Nankomere, Nadungu, Kabuo, Ntakwinja, Pendeza, Nyakambu, Furaha, Faida, Mapendo, Chiza, Nzigire, Nyakwabo, Bawili

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Alison Le Bras.

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