World Vision staff helping a sick child in a community

Mother’s business brings financial stability

Natural conditions for beekeeping and her knowledge in this field made Lali's business profitable right away. 28 year old Lali is the only woman in her community who has the enthusiasm and presence to lead her own business and together with her husband supports their three little children. “I would not dare tackling such a big task without WV’s help, before I was sitting at home and taking care of my children, living only on my husband’s salary but World Vision opened new way of thinking for me, gave courage to lead my own business and support family financially,” she said. In the small village of Muskhi, in Samtskhe-Javakheti region, where Lali lives with her husband and three little children, most people are farmers. But Lali’s family does not own much land, and without finding an alternative income source it would be difficult for them to survive. Income generation opportunities, as well as job opportunities, are very limited in this community. Lali’s husband was lucky to find a job with border security, where he has worked for more than four years; unfortunately his salary is not enough for the family. “[The] children lacked many things, our money was enough only on food and if not my parents help I don’t know what we would do,” said Lali. Lali was working at the local school as a teacher but quit after giving birth to her second child, who is now five. At home Lali began taking care of her children but soon realized that without additional income her family would be in a difficult financial situation. “My old[er] son did not have winter shoes, I could not let him go out and play with children in the snow. I felt really helpless and desperate at that time.” Lali does not talk much about the old days; with a smile on her face she hurries to show us her new business and main income source of the family. In the back yard of the house we see the rows of beehives; she explains that 40 beehives out of 60 were purchased by World Vision two years ago. Her five- and four-year old children are sponsored by World Vision, and they know lots about their mother’s work. They even know that opening a new beehive means more money for the family and in this case they also receive some presents. Lali became part of the World Vision S-J ADP farmers’ business capacity building project which aims to increase farmers’ knowledge and understanding about the new methods of farming. She received training in business basics and project writing and applied for a small grant to expand her business. Her proposal was financed by World Vision; now looking back it is clear that the assistance that she received made big changes in her family’s life. “I saw the potential in this business and was thinking if I don’t support my husband financially we would always live in the poverty and my children would lack many things,” she explains. Natural conditions for beekeeping and her knowledge in this field made her business profitable right away. Now together with honey, Lali sells candles, propolice and even bee milk. One beehive gives about 20-25 kg honey a year. “She is very active and innovative person, she has already registered as individual business; it will give her opportunity to expand the market, to sell her product in big cities. For me it was a sign that she looks ahead and thinks about future,” said Natia Berdzenishvili, World Vision Economic Development specialist. After successful expansion of her business Lali decided to submit another proposal to the USAID grant-funding project and won a complementary grant, aiming to accommodate the bee houses won through ADP project. She noted that proposal-writing skills gained through the farmers’ capacity-building project helped her to win this complementary grant. Two years has passed since she received the first grant from World Vision S-J ADP program and this time has been long enough to change her financial situation radically. Today the income received from beekeeping gives her the confidence for the future and she has become an example for other community members.