Vestine cutting hair in her saloon

Vestine Munganyinka and her family is now reaping the rewards of the hard work she and her community have done with the support of AEE Rwanda in partnership with KNH.  For Vestine who originally relied on everything from her husband and who could not help financially in her family, now runs her own business and the family has financial stability, but it is not just financially benefited. “I was unable to appear publicly before people, after joining I have become a sharp woman.”

Vestine (39) and her husband have three children and before joining the self-help group (SHG) three years ago, was living in extreme poverty with difficulty getting food, clothes and medical treatment.  As part of the group saving training, she was able to save 100Rwf ($0.12 US) per week which each member also saved the same amount into the collective groups saving bank.  Through training given by AEE Rwanda in areas such as about business management, development, entrepreneurship, and saving & loan management Vestine soon found a job she was passionate to do, hairdressing.  After borrowing 60,000RWf ($72 US) she was able to complete her hairdressing training and open her own hairdressing saloon.

Vestine in her garden which has increased in production with the fertilizer her livestock produce

Today she is still saving into the SHG account but can now afford to save 300RWF ($0.36 US) per week and has been able build a new house for her family, one what she does not have to share with the livestock.  The saloon is making 40,000RWF ($48 US) a month and she says “my children are not struggling anymore and are now regularly attending school.  We can pay the school fees, buy school materials, clothes and medical insurance.  The nutrition status, hygiene and health has improved thanks to what I have gained from the SHG”

I’m expecting to a good future of my children with less problems through my business and investments.  I have now become a person of value within the community.”