Before joining a Hand in Hand Zimbabwe instigated Self-Help Group (SHG) and opening a grocery store in her home area in Lupane, 55-year-old Caroline Nkala could barely afford to take care of and pay school fees for her seven children.
“Before joining Hand in Hand, I faced challenges in paying children’s school for my children,” she says.
The married mother of seven says she can now afford to pay school fees worth $40 for each of her children which she does on her own since her husband is unemployed.
Due to the economic instability, employment opportunities are scarce in most rural setups in Zimbabwe.
Caroline joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in 2015 under the Garia SHG. The group is made up of 7 members (6 women and 1 man) who contribute $8 per month.
In 2016 Caroline borrowed $500 from the group and managed to build a successful grocery store where she sells food items and detergents.
She says she built the store after going through the Hand in Hand Opportunity Identification module.
“After going through the business entrepreneurship trainings from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, I realised that there was a gap for me in my community to open a profitable grocery store since no similar service was available.
I make a significant profit of between $650 to $700 per month and I have since regained the money I used to build the shop,” she said.
In all this, the now successful business woman, boasts of the knowledge she got from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe citing that, the organisation taught her to be self-dependent as a woman, to work hard and how to effectively manage a business.
“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has made me a visionary. Building a shop in a rural set up was not easy but I managed because I had acquired knowledge on how to do it from the organisation.
Before she joined Hand in Hand she used to practice horticulture in a bid to fend for her family but according to her this was not easy as she had no skills.
“Life was hard because I only managed to put a little food on the table and could not send my children to school. Selling vegetables could not sustain all my needs therefore, the intervention of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe was and is still of great help in my life”.
She says apart from taking her children to school, she is currently building a big house at her homestead from the grocery store income.
Caroline is planning to grow bigger in her business despite the economic challenges in the country and says she wants to expand her business to other areas in Lupane District.
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