Mina was married at the age of 15. Now, at 32, her and her husband have a daughter and two sons. She was from a poor farming family. She tells us her story. “I started a ‘Chatpat’ (a quick sour, chilly snack) selling business with an investment of about Rs. 2,000 (US$17) as that’s all my family could afford. I was able to earn around Rs. 1,000 (US$8) daily and although this was not much, it boosted my confidence. That was 6 years ago. I wanted to grow my business but I wasn’t able to get a loan.”
“A year ago, I learned about the My Business My Freedom (MBMF) program through the visit of Laxmi (MBMF Project Manager). She explained that there was an opportunity for me to grow my business with a microloan through this project and the interest rate was low. I joined a group of 10 other women like me. After some training and mentoring, I was given my first loan of Rs. 30,000 (US$260) to expand my business. My income has doubled since then. I have even begun to save little by little for my children’s future. My daily income is now about Rs. 2,000 (US$17). My daughter also helps me in the business. I am now confident that I will be able to send my children to school and complete their education and I am able to manage household expenses better than before. The lessons taught to me by Laxmi has been very helpful to manage personal financial needs too.”
“The My Business My Freedom project has changed my life and I feel motivated when Laxmi comes to us and encourages us. I will continue in this business and grow it for many years to come.”
The My Business My Freedom project gives women who are stuck in the cycle of poverty, the opportunity to become self-sustainable. This is an important part of helping reduce the risk of her and her children falling prey to trafficking.
Qujiangtso has never been to school but understands the value of education. She wants to give her children good education but because of her lack of education and skills, is unable to find a stable job.
Maricel is one of the young women who joined Honor 1000's Microfinance Program recently. Along with 30% of the population of the Philippines, she was poor and had a bleak future. She was determined to help her husband in building a better future.
Lajja excitedly joined the local group of women in the My Business My Freedom Project, who are meeting regularly, making loan repayments, talking about how their small businesses are going, and encouraging one another. Lajja purchased a cow and keeps it with one of the other women's house in the group. She sells the milk daily and earns about 1,000 NPR (US$8) a day. This makes her proud.