My name is Christabel Mwansa Muntunga. I’m 46 and a widow. I’m the treasurer for Tiyeseko woman credit group in Kafue, Zambia. Tiyeseko means ‘We Are Trying’. I’m a mother of four and live in a two roomed house with my two children and two grandchildren.
When my husband died in 2012, his relatives grabbed all of our properties and my life became unbearable. Since my husband’s death, none of my relatives or my late husband’s relatives have helped me financially. My children and I were struggling to get by, only just able to eat lunch and supper every day.
I received my first loan from MicroLoan last year. Since receiving my loan and training, I’ve been able to provide three meals a day for my children and they don’t miss school anymore.
In the year that I have been with MicroLoan, my business has grown and I have been able to increase my profits. I started with a k700.00 (£57) loan and was able to make a profit of k150.00 (£12), although now I only make a profit of k120.00 (£10) due to slow business in the country at the moment. Having savings helps me not to worry about this because I know I will still have enough to manage, even if my profits are a bit lower.
I have learnt how to calculate my costs, profits, losses and savings. I have expanded my business and can now order more goods to re-sell. I have a free mind and don’t worry too much about whether I’m making a loss or not. I’m able to work flexibly when I want and not beg for handouts. My future plans are to educate my children up to college through the profits made by this business.