A loan of $4,175 helped a member to buy sweets of different flavours, soft drinks, fruit juices, etc to sell.

Sol Group's story

Argemira is 57 years of age and a widow. She is from Zitácuaro, a town full of history, which lies close to tourist destinations where people go to enjoy themselves or relax. Arge, as she likes to be called, belongs to the Sol (Sun) group. She says that it was her daughter-in-law who invited her to join the group as a means of obtaining better stock for her sweet stall. She says that since her husband died she has been responsible for the household expenses and, although she lives alone, she has to pay for services such as water, electricity and gas, etc. She says that she has 4 children but they are all married. She adds "my children can only help me a little because they also have their families to support. Their help does, however, help me to buy my medication and pay my utility bills".

As she lives close to a high school, a kindergarten and a middle school, she set up her sweet stall outside her house just over a year ago, she says. The children from these schools have become her customers as she also sells soft drinks and fruit juices. This business allows her to help herself and to feel useful since, being visually impaired, she cannot go out and look for work or go out in the street alone. She says that someone who is a great help to her is one of her daughters-in-law who helps her to stock up on sweets in local shops, where she finds low prices and can make some money. She says that this is the second time that she has worked with VisionFund and that it has gone well. She does not feel weighed down by the repayments since she can use her earnings from selling sweets to pay off the loan and continue stocking her stall.

She is now applying for another loan so that she can obtain supplies of sweets of different kinds and flavours and soft drinks. Her goal is to expand her business and next year she wants to sell pencils, crayons, note books of different sizes, rubbers and pencil-sharpeners as a means of improving her quality of life. The other members of the group are called Silvia, Martha, Griselda, Laura Angélica, Argelia, Susana, Karen Alejandra, Karen Alejandra and Estela. They will use the loan to purchase supplies for a stationery shop, ingredients for the preparation of healthy creams to sell, supplies of ladies' underwear and ladies', men's and children's clothing for retail. They will also invest in equipment for an internet café, and will buy in bulk soft drinks to stock up a warehouse and sell wholesale.

In this group: Silvia, Martha, Griselda, Laura Angelica*, Argelia, Susana, Karen Alejandra, Karen Alejandra, Argemira, Estela

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Janice Crossfield

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