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AEE : UKUNZESE Egidie’s Testimony

Egidie is from Mbazi sector, in Huye District. She is a member of Icyerekezo VSLA. She regularly attends the weekly meetings where she saves and takes loans. She managed to run agro-veterinary pharmacy/ business where she sells various kinds of vegetables seeds, pesticides, agriculture materials, cattle medicines, and fertilizers. Before joining VSLA “Icyerekezo”, she was a temporary worker for others, she was a small subsistence farmer with a very low income. She was a poor woman and she was begging for everything from her husband. Then came a sensitization about VSL methodology in her community, from then on she was interested in joining VSLA. She started by saving on a weekly basis, and requesting loans as she wanted. She gained different trainings, including VSL methodology, financial literacy and linkage, enterprise development, and business mentorship. After 3 years in VSLA “Icyerekezo”, she took a loan of 200,000RWF and started a veterinary pharmacy, plus some agriculture inputs.

Her business is very important for the community members around her because they get services closer and at a reasonable price. She started doing her business for five years ago. She is able to get a monthly profit of over 70,000 Rwf. She managed to build her own house in collaboration with her husband who supports her, and the family is able to meet basic needs including school fees, materials, and a uniform for her child. Egidie is able to manage the dairy record-keeping in her shop and sort out the profit of each month. The estimated value of her shop is around 1,500,000RWF. Her main plan in the future is to create other branches in Huye and Nyamagabe Districts.

Egidie has some veterinarian knowledge. She treats sick domestic animals for the surrounding community and gets some income from that services. She also managed to purchase a motorcycle for 1 millionRwf that she uses as transportmeans across the villages. This motorcycle helps her to conduct a kind of mobile clinic for potential farmers. She is now proud that she can contribute to meet some needs at her household level and she is proud of her contribution to the socio-economic development of her family. She has also improved her self-confidence.

She is happy to be part of the VSLA members where she interacts with other women who share their experiences, save, get loans, and stick together for their household socioeconomic development. She is thankful for the capacity building training sessions she got on business saving, credit management, and entrepreneurship. She is committed to increasing her capital and to have a bigger shop with various and more agro-veterinary items. She congratulated CARE International in Rwanda for its technical supports through its partners, and Local leaders who demonstrate every day a good will in women’s development.

Egidie in her shop