Welcome to Chicosudo Stories
Regina’s and Joyce’s Journey from Unemployment to Enterprise Owners
In a world where gender equality is still a distant goal, CHICOSUDO has beenworking tirelessly to empower women through vocational skills training andaccess to finance. The project which isbeing funded by Korea Hope Foundationand it ended in May 2023. We firmly believe that when women are given thetools and resources they need, they can achieve remarkable success. Here arethe inspiring success stories of women who have not only transformed theirlives but have also contributed positively to their communities by startingtheir own businesses.
Regina’s and Joyce’s Journey from Unemployment to Enterprise Owners
Both are mothers of five,struggling to make ends meet since they are single. As they worked asvolunteers at Ntonya Community Based Organization in Traditional AuthorityNkanda in Mulanje, life was a challenge. They failed to meet their children’sschool needs since four of their children are in primary school. Thenthey joined a vocational training program where they trained in Tailoring andDesign, and business management. Armed with her newfound skills and a start-uploan through a loan revolving fund from CHICOSUDO, they opened their ownTailoring Shop in the community. Today, their business is flourishing asthey supply school uniforms to children at the nearest schools through apartnership developed with these schools, and she employs two other women fromtheir community, providing them with opportunities for financial independence.
Veronica’s Thebule Dreams of Becoming a Commercial Come True
Veronica’sThebule Dreams of Becoming a Commercial Come True
Veronica, a 22-year-old, a singlemother with one child from Ntonya Village in Mulanje, had a passion forbecoming a commercial farmer, but lacked formal training on how to start abusiness and resources to start her own farming business. After completing our businessmanagement training program at Ntonya Vocational Skills Training and receivingfinancial assistance through loan revolving fund with fund from Korea HopeFoundation, she launched her farming specializing in green maize and tomatoes.Her hard work has become mouth in her community and able to grow three timesper year. Through her farming business, Veronica now employs other two boys to support her.She is now able to meet her food and save income to support education for herchild and save in Village Savings and Loan group.
Esmey’s Journey from Unskilled Labor to Fashion designer-recycling:
Esmey’s Journey from Unskilled Labor to Fashiondesigner-recycling:
Esmey was struggling to get food to feedand care for her three children just because she depended on her husband beforethey divorced in 2019. After dyvorce, her life was even harder and hopelessuntil life took a transformative turn whenshe enrolled in our Tailoring and design and business management course. Withthe financial support through loan revolving fund she received after trainingshe started her own cloth recycling business. Her unique designs and commitmentto quality have made her a business make even more profits by turning bigclothes collected at low cost in the market and make it new clothes for childrenat affordable prices. Today, Esimy, is not only financially stable but alsoserves as an inspiration to other women who dream of a career in fashionespecially in her innovation of recycling.
VOCATIONAL SKILLS TRAINING EMPOWERS SINGLE WOMEN TO BE SELF-RELAINCE
“Starting the business does not require highereducation rather it requires access to skills you admire most andcapital”. Regina Otoman a 25 years oldwoman from Group Village Headman Ntonya in Mulanje, a survivors of gender based violenceexplained in August 2022 after CHICOSUDO staff pay her a visit at her shop.
Regna is a single mother with two children. She gotmarried at the age of 16 due to high levels of poverty. Despite being marriedearly as a solution to poverty, her husband did not manage to provide allneeds. As such their life in marriage was miserable. We would sleep some days with empty stomach. After giving birth to mysecond born child in 2019, my life was even harder. My husband started abusing.He could not give me a permission to work or having a say to her outside loveaffairs. The following year, he divorced me of no reason. Going back to hervillage was like adding fuel on the fire, just because her relatives could notsupport her. Despite being in that life, she was having her life desire ofbeing self-reliant when she saw other women doing business as she goes atnearby market. The only challenge was that, she didn’t know how to get thatchance until July 2021 when CHICOSUDO introduced women empowerment throughvocational skills and business training at group village headman Ntonya, TraditionalAuthority Nkanda in Mulanje. After attending one of CHICOSUDO beneficiariesidentification awareness, she applied to try her lucky. Fortunately, she wasselected to be amongst the team of 50 marginalized women to be trained atNtonya Community Based Organization Vocational Skills Training Center.
She was an active learner during twelve weeks ofbasic Tailoring and Designing and business management training. Aftercompleting a three months training, there was a better relief as she had skillsin Tailoring and how to do business. However, access to capital was achallenge. “This time, it was a bitbetter, just because I was generating income through small business I was doingafter my friend gave me a small loan. But my desire was to have my ownTailoring Shop in the community. I managed to organize the team so that weshould convince CHICOSUDO team to start loan revolving fund. The team of 35women submitted loan application letters to CHICOSUDO though at that time, theywere not offering the loans”.
From April to May 2022, CHICOSUDO supported all successfullybeneficiaries to undergo for two months attachment. In August 2022, Regina wasamong the 50 women who received loans in form of tools and small cash to enablethem start their enterprises. She started the Tailoring Shop in her village.During the first three months, she was getting a little that helped her repaythe loans. As of early 2023, her daily income increases that she is manages torepay the loans, buy food and school needs for her children.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT TRAINING EMPOWERS RURAL WOMEN TO SEE OPPORTUNITIES IN THEIR VILLAGES.
“My eyes are opened now, I didn’tknow that I can generate incomes within my community”. Miriam Iqra explained to CHICOSUDO staff afterpaying her a visit at Mwanakhu Market in Mulanje. Miriam started Tomato sellingbusiness after gaining skills on how to generate business ideas by addressingthe gap in their community after attending business management training whichwas conducted by CHICOSUDO through Ntonya Vocational Skills Training Center inAugust 2021.
Miriamis a 23 years old from Mchelera village, group village headman Ntonya,Traditional Authority Nkanda in Mulanje. She is a survivor of child marriage.She completed form four education level but failed to write Malawi School Certificateof Education Examination after being forced to enter into marriage due to lackof support. Miriam was living with her grandmother, with high levels ofpoverty, her grand mother did not have financial support to provide for hereducation. As one way of getting support, she fall in love with another youngman, who by that time was a carpenter. After few months, she was pregnant andher grandmother forced her to get married. She was 17 year old when she forcedto get married. Life in marriage was not good. She was even sleep nightswithout food. The man she married to, used to abuse her. After giving birth toher child, she was among the girls who were withdrawn from marriage through EndChild Marriage Campaign conducted by CHICOSUDO.
Despitebeing in that trap, Miriam had a vision of doing something to ensure that shesupport her child and her grandmother. In August 2021, she joined BusinessManagement Training under Ntonya Vocational Skills Training Center. After completingin November, she took a loan from Village and Savings Loans which is running atthe center amounting to MK20,000 and start business of Tomato. She decided ofstarting this business after identified that many households were lackingTomato and they had to walk for one to two Kilometers to purchase Tomato.
By15th when CHICOSUDO staff and stakeholders conduct random visits,she reported that through that business she managed to buy 100 Kgs of Maize at a cost of 10 USD each and being ableto start paying back the loan during their weekly meetings. As of 2022, Miriam was running her businessand she becomes famous in her community. Some proceeds are used to pay herschool fees. After standing own her own, she thought of going back to schooland start form three in the afternoon classes. Miriam is expecting to writeMalawi School Certificate of Education in 2023. Betterstart is the key for success, I am, who I am because of skills gained andaccess to capital to invest my idea. Let other girl’s out there who seeimpossible, join business school at CHICOSUDO to sharpen their knowledge andsee opportunities in their respective community.