Better Late Than Never

Comfort in her shop

Meet Comfort, a forty-seven year old mother of five from Nkontomire. Comfort joined the program in 2019. At that time, she was a food vendor who was struggling to make ends meet.

“The kids’ school fees was draining my business. I could barely cater for food; savings was a luxury I could not afford. The first child had completed senior high school and I needed to send him to college but the means wasn’t there. The two after him had also entered high school. Things were difficult. I was not making enough profit from the food vending business so along the way, we started using the capital until I was almost out of business.”

Just when Comfort thought she had come to her business’s end, SHI showed up and gave her a new hope; something to hold on to.

“A friend introduced me to the Microcredit Program, so one day, I followed her to one of their training sessions. The ladies were so warm and receptive and they behaved as if they knew exactly what my problem was and the solution to it. I joined one of the existing groups and since I had every intention of working with them for a long time, I was diligent in my loan repayment. After a year and half of working with them, my business started picking up. It was a good sign for me, I had a renewed hope.”

Comfort is not just resilient, she’s a mother who is willing to go beyond the status quo for her kids and the family. She had other things in mind.

“During a training session, the officer encouraged us to look around our community to identify something that is  missing so that we can invest in it and own it so I told myself, this is my time to shine! I had witnessed how the people from my community needed an over the counter medicine seller. They always traveled to the next village or any of the surrounding villages for simple medicines like pain killers and  first aids. I wanted to open a shop like that to help myself and the community, but the capital to start was the problem. I spoke with the officers about it and they thought it was laudable so they provided the working capital.”

Today, Comfort is not just a food vendor but also, an over the counter medicine seller who is meeting the needs of the people of Nkontomire and the surrounding villages and farmsteads.  She has also been able to send her first son to college. She is now preparing to send the other two who have completed high school as well because the medicine shop is doing well and generating more income.

“My life would have been better than it is now if I had met the SHI Microcredit Team earlier, but it is better late than never.”