For many women in the rural part of Western Province of Zambia who are facing economic challenges, opening a business that requires huge capital is a far-fetched dream. Thanks to Caritas Czech Republic for introducing the “Savings for Change”, Pumulo Akombelwa now owns a grocery business and is able to pay school fees for her children.
Caritas Czech Republic introduces the Saving Group Initiative to Nakato Village
Pumulo Akombelwa is a 40-year-old woman with 5 children. Before the introduction of the Saving for Change initiative, her life was hard. She had no idea how she could get out of the economic challenges she was facing. She never knew that it was actually possible to save money, even small coins to start a business.
In 2018, Caritas Czech Republic in Zambia with the support of the World Food Programme, visited Nakato, a village where Pumulo Akombelwa lives, and introduced the ‘Saving for Change’ initiative. We carried out a series of training on saving groups and formed the first-ever savings group in the area to which Pumulo belongs.
Pumulo says she did not hesitate to join the group as she saw an opportunity to improve her life. The group she belongs to is called Tamahano which means ‘Cooperation’.
“When I joined the savings group, I had little knowledge and understanding about it, all I knew was that a great opportunity to change our lives has been brought to us,” says Pumulo Akombelwa.
Pumulo opens a grocery store
At the end of the saving circle, Pumulo managed to get a share out of the money that enabled her to start and open a grocery store. She has, since then, been operating this grocery store which has become her source of income that caters for all her needs.
“I’m so grateful to Caritas Czech Republic in Zambia for introducing this amazing initiative to us because I can now boast of having a grocery store and financially supporting my daughter who is in nursing school,” says Pumulo thankfully.
Pumulo adds that she now wants to put up a permanent grocery structure using blocks made with cement.
Like Pumulo, so many other women have had their lives changed by taking part in this saving group initiative. They no longer have to travel long distances to a bank to get a loan.
With the money they are borrowing, interest accumulates and profits are made. At the end of the saving circle which takes nine months, each saving group does a share-out and every member gets a sum of money that they either invest in a business, farming or feed their households.
Interested in more stories like this? Read more:
- How Miyombo bought his first cows thanks to Caritas Czech Republic's ‘Saving for Change’ programme (charita.cz)
- Kapinga is now practising conservation farming, thanks to Caritas Czech Republic (charita.cz)
- How is Caritas Czech Republic in Zambia protecting our planet (charita.cz)