Enala Banda hasn’t had the easiest of lives; she started school late, as her parents, who were subsistence farmers, couldn’t afford her school fees and struggled for even the basics. Once at school, she found a passion for education and excelled at her studies. She had dreams of becoming a teacher, but throughout her education, Enala and her sister had to be taken out of school to earn money and help support the family through hard times. Missing school was a very upsetting time for Enala.
Whilst at school and sitting her last writing exams, disaster struck for Enala. There had been a drought which meant no food was available and worse still, Enala’s parents separated. This meant Enala had to leave school and was forced to marry to be able to look after her younger sisters. She was devastated.
Once married, Enala did have a little money as her in-laws had given them a piece of farming land. The only problem was it needed fertilizer to produce the crops, so again, they were in hardship. At times they “were unable to afford soap and other necessities”
History was also beginning to repeat itself, when her three small children began missing school because Enala couldn’t afford books or uniforms. Enala said, “It was a very difficult time. We had plans but we had no idea who to turn to for help. I want to leave my children better off than I was”.
This is when Enala joined a MicroLoan group in her village. Here Enala found the support and motivation to set up a business selling tomatoes and fish. This has completely changed her life and her families’ lives. She is now able to send her “children to school, able to buy school uniform, books and writing pens”. Her future is much brighter as she is able to support her family and grow her business.
Through her loan and training she now understands her business more, knows how to make a profit and how to spend that profit to change her life and break the chain of poverty.
Enala now says, “life is good, I am comfortable. I am able to buy things for my household. Now we have food, my children no longer go to bed on an empty stomach. My children’s education has improved. I can now fend for my family. It gives me hope for the future”.