A loan of $4,100 helped a member aisha plans to use her loan to buy more bales of used clothing to sell.

Suubilyamukama Lending Group's story

Aisha is the Chairperson for the Suubilyamukama Lending Group in the Lugazi Village. (Yes, I did double-check the name of the lending group, but I will leave it to you for the correct pronunciation.) Since Lugazi is in a very rural area, most of the members are in agriculture. Aisha is an exception. When I asked her what her business was she told me she was a “hawker”.

Once I understood what she was saying, I still had a problem with the word, since in my culture it is often deemed a business that has illegal connotations. But I did not want to change the word, since this is what she said, so let me clarify. A hawker is someone who sells there goods without the benefit of a fixed location. They therefore walk around busy markets and taxi parks carrying and selling their wares. Aisha sells used clothing. This is not an easy job and most would like to be able to afford to rent a store front. There are many hawkers on the streets and they are seen as just as respectable as storefront owners, though not as well off.

Aisha has been a hawker for two years and a member of her lending group for nine years, hence her position as chairperson. I got the feeling she has had a downturn in her life, but is determined to be able to rent a storefront. She is married and has three children. With her portion of the group loan, which is approximately $275 US, she plans to buy more used clothing to sell. The clothing is bought in Kampala and is bought in bags or bales. She is not allowed to see what is in the bags until after she purchases it, though she can determine if she wants t-shirts or shirts or skirts. There can be several hundred items in each bale.

In this group: Aisha, Sarah, Prossy, Stella, Sarah, Viola, Hasifa, Phoebe, Stella, Debora, Mirabu, Hasifa, Florence, Rose, Mwajuma, Juliet, Juliet

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Lenders and lending teams

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