“We depend on your Loans to empower ourselves”

In the 1960s and 70s, it was a common culture practiced mainly in villages and rural parts of Zambia for parents to marry off their daughters at a very tender age. A 48 year old Fridah Nanyiza, who is a victim of early marriage, narrates challenges she went through and how FINCA has improved her life.

Fridah dropped out of school in the sixth grade and was married off by her parents at a tender age of 14 years. Her husband by than was employed and was able to provide adequately for all home needs but as time went by and as the family grew, Fridah’s husband started experiencing financial challenges and could no longer provide adequately for his family. Her husband would go for several months without pay resulting in hardships for the family.

Fridah on the other hand, started selling dry relish at Tambalala market in Lusaka and used her profits to provide the most basic needs of the family. Fridah narrates that her business was very small and that it did not have a significant impact of the family’s welfare. Nonetheless, when Fridah learned about FINCA through her colleague in the market, she did hesitate to join a village bank group of 15 members and took out her first FINCA loan which she used to buy a verity of stock for her stall. Soon thereafter, Fridah began experiencing a gradual increase in sales and profits and before long; Fridah was able to provide adequately for her family needs. Fridah’s family no longer relied on her husband’s pay for home needs and school needs for children. Since then, Fridah has been working with FINCA and investing her subsequent FINCA loans in her business. Fridah is very thankful to FINCA for empowering her.

Fridah and her husband have built a house together and they no longer have to pay for rent. “I urge you (FINCA) to keep up with the good spirit as more people especially women like me depend so much on your loans for empowerment”.