LIMCA Leads to Financial Growth
Veronica Joseph and Agnes Mtunguja live in Migambo village, in the Lushoto, Tanga region of Tanzania. In 2010, they joined the Mshikamano Livelihoods Improvement for Most Vulnerable Children Care (LIMCA) group in their village.
The Mshikamano LIMCA is a savings and loan group that aims to help caregivers of vulnerable children strengthen their household economy. The group has 30 members and is supervised by the local organization African Women’s AIDS Working Group (AFRIWAG) under the Pamoja Tuwalee program. Both Veronica and Agnes report that their lives have changed for the better since becoming LIMCA members.
Before she joined the Mshikamano LIMCA, Veronica was struggling to make a living as a tailor. “I studied tailoring before I joined the LIMCA group and got my own sewing machine, but no one came to place an order,” she says. “Sometimes I just sat there idle because I never had any customers.”
Through the LIMCA, Veronica was able to start saving money. She also decided to take out several loans between 50,000 to 100,000 shillings ($30-$60 USD) to improve her tailoring business. “I used the money to buy pieces of cloth so that I could sew the clothes that customers needed, without waiting for an order,” Veronica says.
Veronica is now a respected tailor in her village. She started making primary school uniforms, and many people depend on her clothes to get their children ready for the start of the school year. The profits from Veronica’s sales help her take care of her three children, all of whom are in primary school.
“Getting a loan that has enabled me to add to my capital has definitely changed my life and made me see the benefits of LIMCA,” says Veronica. “I will always be grateful to the initiative.”
Fellow LIMCA member Agnes Mtunguja secured a loan for 60,000 shillings (about $36 USD). Agnes used the money to buy carrot seeds and cultivate a garden, which she expects will yield 20 sacks of carrots once harvested. The proceeds from Agnes’ harvest will allow her to live more comfortably with her three grandchildren, who are all students.
“Without LIMCA I would have died,” says Agnes, who struggled to care for her grandchildren with very little money and no support from the children’s parents.
“There was a time when one of the children was sick and I could not afford to take him to the hospital,” Agnes says. “I’m very grateful that I can now offer my grandchildren health services because of my LIMCA group.”