Ethel Nyowani is a single mother, 19, from Chidyandewu Village, Traditional Authority (TA) Mlilima in Chikwawa District.
Ethel used to indulge in prostitution as a way of earning a living and also to feed her 2-year-old girl child whom she was left with by a man whom she could not trace where she comes from. After some months, Ethel was motivated to join a Village Saving Loan (VSL) club under Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) project with a mindset of getting assistance on how to get money and support her child.
After joining the VSL club as a club member, Ethel got inspired by a lot of things within the club meetings. Among other things, her peers from the club motivated her to change her behavior as a prostitute and use the money she gets from VSL and start her small business. Also, she got lessons as well from what the discuss as a club on how best one can start small businesses and become independent.
When time reached for the club to mobilized funds for village savings and loans, Ethel showed interest and was trained in VSL together with other 24 members from the club. She then took part in contribution and sharing of money in the club, and got herself a 30 thousand loan which helped her to start a small business of selling dry fish, tomatoes, vegetables and other kitchen basic needs.
Since she started business, her life completely changed. Ethel is now able to feed herself and her 2-year-old child. she doesn’t depend on any man to bring food on her table.
Commenting on how Ethel has changed, the Peer Educator for the VSL club, Steria Nzumara said ‘Ethel was indeed a girl with bad behavior. She used to disrupt other people’s marriages and this used to put her life at risk. She could be involved in many fights with other women, but AGYW has completely changed everything and Ethel is now a great and independent lady.’
Ethel appreciates God for the coming of the AGYW project which has completely changed her reputation and financial state
“Thanks to AGYW project for it has transformed by life for better. I used to indulge in prostitution to find money to support my child. With the AGYW project, I am now doing my small business to buy food,” said Ethel.
From her business, she is able to make over 20 thousand kwacha a month as a profit which she normally shares at VSL club as an investment. She is planning to have a structure to be used as a shop by the month of October 2020.
By Lonjezo Idrissa