Wind of Change
People in the community action groups in DAPP Child Aid in Chingola, Zambia improves their lives’ through the businesses they can start with micro finance loans.
The story about poverty has always been a sad one to Mr. Mbale, a blacksmith in Soweto Township in Chingola District. It is a harsh reality he has lived with for most of his lifetime having been brought up in a poor family and having headed a poor family himself.
“I thought my family was cursed because I wouldn’t see the reason why I could still stay in poverty when some people in more urban areas in my neighborhood were doing pretty fine,” he says.
Mbale has been a blacksmith for more years than he cares to remember. However, he has had no adequate capital to boost his business of making laundry dishes, kitchen utensils, candle stands, storage bins, and other handmade domestic appliances. He could hardly afford feeding his family or paying school fees for his children.
Mbale’s life and his family took a dramatic turn when he got a small loan through the Child Aid program being implemented by DAPP in Zambia in partnership with the KCM mines. He got a 200$ loan which he invested in blacksmithing. Mbale first bought 6 iron sheets and after making and selling his products he made a profit of 150$. He has managed to repay the loan which he got and his capital base has since gone up to 1,530$ for the past 2 years.
“Presently, my family is leading a comfortable life with at least three meals a day and a bit of luxury. I am able to pay school fees for my children,” Mbale concludes as he casts a wide smile.
Mbale is one among many individuals that have benefited from the micro loans KCM and DAPP Zambia offers in Chingola through Child Aid.
The objective of the loans is to empower community action groups, women and youth clubs with basic business skills, in order to sustain their lives. From initial capital, the project has given out loans to 210 people and 667 people have so far benefited from the business loans.
People wishing to take a loan are trained in business management and bookkeeping in order for them to understand fully the whole program before committing themselves. Business plans guide them on what to do and how to expand their businesses.
In this way people are contributing to making poverty history as well as making an impact in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals through micro finance.