|Eunice's Walk to Economic Independence|
|Monday, 04 June 2012 13:44|
When Eunice Kendy Chipesa Kamanga picked up a job with Riverside Private School in Nchalo, she did not anticipate making Chikhwawa her permanent home. Relocating from Blantyre where the weather is generally good, she found the climate in Lower Shire too hostile for her comfort. She almost changed her mind.
“At that time, my former employer was still coaxing me to return to her school in Blantyre. I did not want to return considering the circumstances that led to my resignation but the unfavourable hot weather in Nchalo almost pushed me into accepting her request”, She says.
Save for the weather, she found Nchalo a very thriving community and full of business opportunities.
“Every time I walked around the trading centre, I could see women and men busy plying their trades and I could sense money changing hands”.
Wanting to benefit from some of the identified business opportunities, she decided to brave the hot weather and try her luck.
“I planned to be doing business in the afternoon after work”.
Mrs Kamanga is a Zambian national but married to a Malawian from Chitipa, together they have four children. She is a teacher at the Illovo’s owned Riverside Private School.
After work, she conducts part time lessons for students around Nchalo Trading Centre. She also conducts private English lessons to women and men who would want to improve their English.
“Other than my salary, this is my main source of income generation”, she says.
In 1998 she joined SUCOMA SACCO.
“I had never heard of SACCOs before but my husband used to say a lot of good things about them. He encouraged me join if I was to fulfil my dream of owning a private school”, she acknowledges.
Four years later, she withdrew her membership from the SACCO.
“I guess I was not ready. I had no clear objective hence failed to reap the benefits of my membership fully”, she reckons.
She rejoined in 2004. Equipped with an ambition to build a house, her eyes were set on accumulating enough shares that would qualify her to get a substantial loan to finance the housing project.
“This time I knew I needed to be focused to achieve my goal. I had to understand what I was aiming for and relentlessly fight for it”, she reckons.
In 2011, she got her first loan from the SACCO which she used in acquiring a plot in Nchalo and building a three bedroomed and self contained house.
Though not completed, the house is already roofed and cemented. She says her plans are to get a second loan to finalise the project.
She encourages other teachers to join SACCOs while acknowledging that with SACCO’s support, she would not have achieved what she has done so far.
“A lot of people question the future of SACCOs hence fails to join. They are losing out and by the time they will realise the sustainability of SACCOs, we will have achieved even more and God willing, we will even be managing big businesses by then”.
Policy Makers Symposium on Growth and Development of Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Malawi
Date: May 27 – 28, 2013
Venue: Bingu International Conference Centre
Symposium Theme: Embracing Financial Cooperatives as a...
Safe and sound SACCOs for everyone in Malawi.
To support SACCOs in Malawi on a sustainable basis to promote good access to quality and affordable financial services to members in accordance with international cooperative principles.