Grace’s Story

Project Description

Grace’s Story

Grace is a widow, single mother and grandmother currently caring for her three orphaned grandchildren. Grace was having difficulty supporting herself and the children and they were left homeless, moving about in search of manual labour work. The community identified Grace and her grandchildren to Salama SHIELD Foundation as a vulnerable family and they were provided with two goats in 2009. The goats provided income for the family allowing Grace to purchase a mattress and blankets and rent land on which to grow crops to sell. In addition to being receiving goats, Grace was also identified and selected to receive a loan through SSF’s microcredit program. The loan allowed her to purchase land on which to grow her crops, replace her dilapidated house with one made of bricks and steel sheeting, as well as grow in confidence in being able to provide for herself and her grandchildren.

Quotations:

“No one would recognize us because they are comparing me with the vulnerable Grace who used to stay in a temporary shelter and was selling local alcohol under the tree. I can now add and subtract, which I did not know before joining the micro-credit programme, for which I am grateful and proud.”

“Who am I that today I can be invited to attend social functions and be recognized? I want to thank the founders and staff of Salama SHIELD who have done a tremendous job that has changed my life.” Salama SHIELD’s goat program is one of its most successful models to date. The community helps to identify a vulnerable person or family who could use support and is
likely to be effective livestock caretakers. These individuals may be single parents, youth or child-led households. Goats create a host of benefits for caretakers, including nutritional support, income generation and development of entrepreneurial and animal husbandry skills. Additionally, goats can be bred to double the benefit; its milk can provide nourishment or become business venture, while individual goats or offspring can be sold. Profits that result from caring for goats can help support food security, payment of school fees, purchase of household items, payment medical bills or clothing and footwear purchases.
Salama SHIELD’s microfinance programs currently boast a 100% repayment rate! These programs target “unbankable” women, those who are too poor to qualify for loans, lack collateral and are culturally dependent on their husbands. Women become part of a group of 5-20 other women from their village and take part in a business-training program. The revolving loan scheme allows repaid interest to be re-loaned to current members who want access to bigger loans, or to new members joining the group. Additionally, our goat and pig programs are used to provide nutritional support, income generation and development of entrepreneurial and animal husbandry skills to vulnerable youth and families.

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