Mickness Jere comes from Jalanthowa village in Traditional Authority Mtwalo. She is 72 years old and she stays with her 3 grandchildren, a young man, and two teenage girls. Before the PAST project come to Mzimba, Mickness Jere was a Social Cash Transfer beneficiary and she was receiving 16,000.00 every 2 months. Though she was receiving this money, she was still struggling since the money she was receiving was not enough to afford the house home needs. She couldn’t serve even a single penny and she was struggling to support her 2 granddaughters with school materials.
Mickness Jere never thought of doing any business before. Actually because of her old age. “I thought I was just an old poor woman and there is nothing I could do to get myself out of poverty. What I was waiting for, was just to receive my money and buy food at home as I used to do,” said Mickness. However, with the coming in of the PAST project, things changed. Through Social and Behavior change intervention by CRECCOM, Mickness received a lot of messages and mentorship on behavior change and other different life skills through CTGs and RLCs as well as mentors and CAs. That helped to change her mindset and her self-esteem was boosted up and she started looking at herself as somebody who can still do something for the better.
After receiving her seed money, Mickeness decided to start keeping broilers and selling rice. She bought 50 chicks to start her business and 2 tins of rice. Since she is old, she talked to her grandson Madalitso to help her taking care of the chickens. Madalitso took over and started managing the business while she was selling the rice at a nearby market. She buys a tin of rice at 11000 and sells it at 15,000.00. Mickness uses the profit from rice and the money she receives from SCTP to buy basic needs and support her granddaughter with school materials.
After her chickens got matured, ready for market, Mickeness started selling her chicken at 3000,00 each. A lot of people from the nearby areas have been buying from her. Some vendors who sell Kanyenya around Dunduzi roadblock became usual customers such that just within 2 weeks only 3 chickens remain. Out of what she made from the first 50 chickens; she has bought 130 chicks as her 2nd stock. Her business keeps on glowing.
Mickness Jere’s living standard has greatly improved. She is now able to support her family fully. She lacks nothing at her home. She eats good food and at all times. “Since I started a business, things have changed. We have bought new clothes; we are eating all the 6 groups of food and my granddaughters are no longer being sent back from school because of school funds which was a problem in those days. I see that I will not struggle to pay school fees for one of my granddaughters who is in standard 8 now”. Said, Mickness Jere.