My name is Nyiransengiyumva Philomene, a 30 year old single woman from Gatare village, Kagatamu cell, Bushenge sector in Nyamasheke district. I joined a VSLA called ABAHUJE in January 2017 after a mobilization conducted by FVA staff and village agents. When I joined the VSLA, the beginning was tough because I did not have money for my savings but I persisted. The share each week was 500 Rwf. After 3 months, I took a loan of 40,000 Rwf which I used to buy beans and cassava, make powder and sell it.
Before the share out, I took loans three times and managed to pay back the money. We have now started the second cycle and I still save with my group. My capital without loans stands at 200,000Rwf. Before entering the saving system, I used to work for other people cultivating their lands and being paid 1000 Rwf per day which was far from being enough to meet my needs. As we speak now, apart from meeting my basic needs, I manage to save a minimum of 10,000 Rwf per month which to me is a big achievement.
I couldn’t figure out how to get out of poverty before I joined the CORE project but right now, I have confidence and changes in my life are remarkable to everyone who knew me before. I have realized that success comes slowly, step by step and I know that things are possible as long as I work hard and remain honest. I thank FVA and World Vision and encourage them not to stop because they are making a difference in people’s lives.