By Agatha Mali - Communications Officer, Zambia.
“My dream is to become a nurse”, says 15-year-old Purity. Purity is a sponsored child who lives in Mbala-Zambia, in a small remote village with her parents and two siblings.
Being the first child, Purity hopes to have a bright future and elevate her family from poverty. She passed her seventh grade examinations and is now in eighth grade. However, because her parents earn low income from growing and selling maize and cassava, Purity decided to join a local village savings group to help her family by saving and paying for her school fees and other school necessities.
In 2019, Purity joined Kaulendo (meaning 'a journey' in the local language) savings group with K50.00 ($2) that she borrowed from her mother. With one share valued at K10.00, Purity bought five shares with all of her money and requested to get a loan to invest it with hopes of growing her savings.
“Seeing the financial stress my mother had, I decided to borrow a K100.00 ($4) from the group and managed to pay back the K50.00 ($2) I borrowed from mom. I then decided to start a small business by buying a box of tomatoes for sale with the help of my mother”, she explains.
As young as she is, with a positive business mind, her first business of selling tomatoes did very well as she was able to earn a profit of K250.00 ($11) from the K50.00 box of tomatoes she bought.
Purity says she was able to pay back her loan and increased her savings.
Saving groups (based on the Savings for Transformation - S4T approach), is one of the economic empowerment models used by World Vision to empower communities in areas of operation. Kaulendo savings group is one of the savings groups that have greatly benefited from World Vision with training on saving and transforming their lives in various ways.
With support from Bradford Soap, World Vision donated six 1,800 kilogram bags of milled soap and trained the savings group on soap making in 2019, and Purity was one of the group members who benefited from both the training and the soap.
“I am grateful to World Vision because I have not only benefited from the savings knowledge, but I also learned how to make soap from the soap cuts they donated to our group”, says Purity
Purity explains that when the group members made the soap, they agreed that they cut it into small pieces to sell to their fellow community members to invest through the savings group.
“Each member was allocated some pieces of soap to go and sell. I managed to sell my allocation and put the money in the savings box, which helped my savings’ interest accumulate”, she says. “I then decided to get another loan of K2,000.00 ($88.00), of which I asked my father to take part of the money and buy a cow for me to sell meat products from.”
Purity’s father, Chrispin (41), is a farmer and member of another savings group and is also doing his 12th grade at one of the named schools in Mbala. He says that Purity is a brilliant and hard-working child who always thinks of the future and aims high.
Chrispin says providing for his family has been a challenge because he is also in school and, at the same time, has to take care of his children’s school fees and requirements.
“I am proud of my daughter because she has been a part of success in our lives. The times I have failed to buy her school necessities, she uses her savings to buy books, pencils, and even her uniforms”, says Chrispin.
He says from the K2,000.00 ($88) Purity borrowed, he was able to buy a cow worth K1,500.00 ($65), which was sold as processed meat products.
“I used the remaining money to pay for her school fees since she passed her grade eight exams”, he says. “And from her beef sales, she generated a total amount of K3000.00 ($132), from which she paid back the loan and saved the profit for her future school requirements.”
Chrispin says he has seen the benefits of saving, and his daughter has encouraged him and his wife to join savings groups.
“If Purity can do it, it means my wife and I can do it too. As a result, our lives have been transformed”, says Chrispin.
Purity says she hopes to grow her business so that the profits can continue supporting her education until she enters tertiary education.
“This business does not affect my school activities in any way because my mother supports me by selling the products on my behalf while I focus my efforts on school and studies”, she says. “My dream is to have a bright future so that my siblings should also complete their education, and we will take care of our parents in the future.”