Jacqueline Muntunutwiwe, a woman from Gatara commune , Kayanza Province , tells her story. “Before joining the savings and credit association set up by the Initiative for the Promotion of Rural Health and Development (IPROSARUDE), I was like a cleaning lady. I thought that being a woman was just plowing the fields, looking for food and taking care of my husband and children. I didn’t know anything about financial participation in my home. All the money was on my husband’s head,” she says.
In 2020, Mrs. Muntunutwiwe heard from IPROSARUDE VSLA leaders on her hillside about the benefits of belonging to a savings and credit group. She attended a meeting of her hill, without really paying much attention, she just wanted to listen to what was being said. After two training sessions, the 40-year-old was attracted to the association’s activities. “When I learned that I could get a small loan to start an income-generating activity, I did not hesitate for a second. I started selling avocados, I buy a whole tree and then I sell them in the evening at our market on the hill. But most of it goes to the Bujumbura town hall and I earn a lot. A year later, I paid back the loan and now I have bought an additional field and my husband is happy with me.
Mrs. Muntunutwiwe said that today, she feels extremely proud to participate in the financial life of her family. She can take care of the children’s schooling.
“If a child needs a pen, I no longer tell him to wait for his father. I give it to him immediately. Thank you to IPROSARUDE and its mentors who helped me realize that I am able to contribute to the development of my family and my country,” she adds.
By E. Allickan Niragira