Love Vinkhumbo has faced many challenges in life. So she had quite a story to share when Canaan Gondwe, Spirit in Action Small Business Fund (SBF) Coordinator in Malawi, asked about SIA’s impact on her life.
Love, born and raised in Manyamula Village in rural Malawi, was first married in 1984 and had three children – Grace, Rhoda, and Trouble. Her husband had AIDS and all the money they made from odd jobs went to pay for his medical care. He died in 2000, leaving Love widowed and HIV+.
Love was discouraged and “could hardly find food and soap to keep my family well” but she didn’t lose all hope. She banded together with other people living with HIV/AIDS and formed the Manyamula HIV/AIDS Support Group, designed to be a place of encouragement and sharing. It was through this group that Love met her current husband Fanuel Tembo who is also HIV+.
Canaan Gondwe, the local SIA SBF coordinator, went to visit this family last year. During this visit he evaluated this family’s situation against the established criteria for new SBF groups, which is individualized for each community where SIA works. “This family was chosen for SBF because they fit the Poverty Assessment Tool as the family had lost everything through the sickness and they needed external assistance to make up the losses. I assessed their potential and found out that they could manage the SBF.
“When they received the SBF training in January 2012 and received the first grant of $100, Love Vinkhumbo and her husband bought beans, tomatoes, and a few groceries to trade,” reported Canaan. “Together with their children, she kept on ordering and reselling groceries and beans and today a different positive outlook is noticeable.
“After 3 months of operation of the business, the family is showing smiles and is bailed out of untold misery. Two of her children are back in school. The family’s potential on the economic and social status has picked up and they feel life very different from before. They can buy their food and send their children to school.”
In just three months the family earned $130 in profit and “with the extra funds that she finds, the family has managed to buy two goats which she expects to raise and keep more money.”
All that from a $150 grant! I am honored to read of Love’s great perseverance in the face of challenges. In times of need, she has been able to seek and provide hope, working to make life better for herself and everyone in her family.
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