Elizabeth Chimombo, a 63-year-old widow who lives near Champiti Epicenter in Malawi, is the picture of an empowered business woman who has worked to change the trajectory of her life.
Elizabeth grew up with almost nothing, and never got an education beyond a few years of primary school. She has nine children, which she raised mostly on her own after her husband passed away.
Eager to provide for her children and send them to school, Elizabeth took out microfinance loans through The Hunger Project and joined the Food Security Program where she learned modern farming techniques and accessed farm input loans.
She started a small agro business and could then feed her children and send them to school. As her business grew, she put her mind to achieving a new vision: “I wanted to build my own house and have a maize mill,” she said.
She achieved her goal. With her increased savings, she had her own house built and purchased a maize mill. She has electricity in her home and owns a small television. Increasing her income, Elizabeth also opened up a small shop where she sells groceries and other items. She also charges people to charge their electronics and batteries in her home.
Elizabeth is now one of the most respected people within her community, and others look to her for advice. I encourage other women [especially those] who lost their husbands, to join [The Hunger Project’s] Microfinance Program,” she said.
“Without The Hunger Project I wouldn’t have been able to send my children to school. Without [The Hunger Project] I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today,” she said.