Thursday, September 2, 2010

From Sesame Seeds to Charcoal

Virginia Kide selling charcoal
The first Micro-Enterprise loans made by Mercy Beyond Borders-- to 14 women of the HIV/AIDS support group in Nimule, South Sudan--have begun to improve the lives of the women, though not without struggles.  Here is Virginia's story:

"When I received the loan I invested in raw cassava to be taken to Juba; unfortunately, on my way to market the truck broke down and all was ruined. But being in a group is so important: the other members raised for me an internal loan that enabled me to go back into business. I bought a sack of simsim (sesame) and sorghum which added to my capital. In a short time, however, I fell sick and the doctor warned me not to work so hard, so I resolved to buy charcoal from the people who burn it and then sell it retail. I am a widow with 5 sons; two are now high school age. The loan I got was $250 and so far I have repaid $167. In the beginning, I had only $30 savings; now I have $50!  Thank you, Mercy Beyond Borders!

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