Johari Mkonde is one of the happy clients we interacted with during the board visit in May 2015. She was introduced to YOSEFO in 2000 by a friend and has since borrowed loans, financed them and ventured into various income generating activities.
Johari started out as part of a group where she borrowed Tshs 50,000 and invested in charcoal selling business. Later as her income grew, she moved into poultry keeping as she built on other activities. During the visit to her home which doubles as her business premise, we had a chance to see the poultry farm. She has also expanded her house to include 2 commercial rooms. One room she uses as a boutique selling African fabric and the other room is used for secretarial services, a service that is well needed in her community.
YOSEFO Clients at one of their regular meetings
One of the things that struck us about Johari is her ability to identify needs in her community and then tapping into that to not only earn income but to provide services to meet those particular needs. It takes a typical business mind to be able to figure this out and Johari has well mastered that art. It is not surprising that with the easy access to the financial services, people like Johari flourish and transform from being dependents to sustainable development agents.
Together with her husband, Johari is now able to take care of the family needs like taking children to school, providing good health services, nutrition and good housing. These are important indicators of a household that has grown out of poverty. Together they have 4 children who are all catered for in school.
Johari displays her African fabric on sell
Although her husband is employed in a formal job, he takes time to support her and the businesses because he has realized how important it is to have extra income for the family. They are currently serving a loan of Tshs 15 m that they used to expand their businesses. The poultry business brings in the largest amount of profit. On a monthly basis, she makes about Tshs 11 million in sales with an average sale of 2000 chicken.
“They are patient, they listen to us and teach us many things regarding financial management “ – Johari
The journey of transformation starts with a willing person and access to transformational services. Johari credits her success to the good relationship that YOSEFO has with them. “They are patient, they listen to us and teach us many things regarding financial management, “she says.
Johari inside her poultry shelter
YOSEFO has now grown to over 30,000 clients. There are many similar stories like Johari’s depicting the impact that YOESFO has had on lives of rural people. In 2011, the transition of YOSEFO into a microfinance bank begun and is now almost complete. The rebrand includes rebranding to YETU, the MDI that enables staff, clients to own shares.
SMF EA Ltd exists to provide financial services to the poor. Johari’s story proves that transformation is possible. It also proves that many people have the ability to dream and grow their businesses, they just need that start up. As the saying goes, “Empower a woman, and you would have empowered a nation…”