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The Story of Bridget Mbewe

Location: Mafuta, Zambia
Village: Chizuma
Chief: Mafuta
Age: 28
Sex: Female
Marital Status: Married

This is a story of BRIDGET MBEWE aged 28 years old. Bridget is married with three children aged 9 (girl), 5 (boy) and 2 years old (girl). She is one of the CLAP beneficiaries who joined literacy classes in Mafuta community. Bridget says she is a grade 9 drop out as such at the time she joined the adult literacy classes she was able to read and write in local language and a bit of English. According to her, She joined literacy classes to refresh her mind and hoping to further her education through adult learning. To her surprise, the CLAP adult classes were more than just learning how to read and write. She has also learnt how to manage a business and calculate profits. As a loan beneficiary, Bridget ventured in selling Chitenge materials. Her decision was based on the demand of chitenges by all women;
“For me, I decided to be selling Chitenges because in our community every woman needs to have several chitenges. When we go out for community meetings or functions, we look for best chitenges to wear. Similarly, in our homes when doing work every woman is expected to wear a Chitenge. I saw that Chitenges are a necessity to every woman in our community. Even a husbands feel good when his wife is wearing a nice chitenge and walks with her to meetings or functions. When you don’t have a nice chitenge, husband and wife walk separate ways. I saw that Chitenges would be a good business especially that they are non- perishable.”
With a K250 which Bridget got from SPRIZ in July 2019, she decided to buy and resell chitenge materials. For her first stock, she bought 7 pieces at K35 each and sold them at K50 each which gave her a profit of K105. For her second stock, she bought 8 pieces and made a profit of K120 of out it. For her third stock, she bought 12 pieces and made a profit of K180. Bridget has continued her business and in 2 months she has managed to save K180 through village bank. At the time of monitoring, she had K230 cash at hand and K700 in stock (Chitenge materials). Bridget is so grateful to SPRIZ and JTI and the Ministry of Community Development& Social services for helping her with capital for business and teach her understand how to run a business. She says currently she is able to supports her children with school requirements from her business and fights over money with her husband are a thing of the past now. She appeals to SPRIZ to reach out to more women who are still struggling in her community and beyond.

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