Prosper Loans Change Lives

Alleviating_Poverty_Gray_Box_Success_StoryBefore the ECLT Foundation’s PROSPER Project began in Tanzania’s Urambo and Sikonge Districts, options for women to support their families were limited. In this poverty-stricken region where child labour is prevalent, women are often the primary providers for their families, yet they are rarely given the opportunities and resources they need to survive.Yunis Patson and Upelly Ndimbwa, both of the Songambele Village in Urambo, were two such mothers struggling to provide for their families and keep their children in school. They were not able to get financial support to improve their situations, and they were caught in a cycle of poverty that contributed to the high incidence of child labour in the country.

Through the PROSPER Project’s mothers’ conditional loan programme, mothers like Yunis and Upelly are now getting the opportunities they need to build brighter futures for themselves and their children.

The process empowers loan recipients to earn enough money to meet basic needs such as buying school uniforms, learning materials, food, clothing, and other household items. Terms of the loan require that recipients generate enough profit to be able to reinvest 7% of their income, and that they ensure their children are not engaged in child labour.

Before receiving the loans, recipients take part in PROSPER Programme training where they learn financial skills, including identifying business ideas, developing and managing small businesses, marketing, record keeping, and other entrepreneurial skills.

To date, the programme has provided loans and training to 510 mothers of the Urambo and Sikonge Districts and is on target to reach 1,530 mothers by 2015.

“I see that my lifestyle has changed completely and I will come out of poverty in the near future,” Yunis said. “We mothers have to remember that a chance never comes twice.”

She encourages other mothers to work hard and use their loans as planned for more success in life.