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Our Stories

Village savings & loans

Malawi | 26 January 2014

Village savings & loans

New opportunities

The ARISE income generation program in Malawi has helped many women gain management skills and create new businesses. A Village Savings and Loan Scheme helped to provide one women with enough capital to start her own business and to provide her children with necessities for school.

Gertrude Thondoya from Kambironjo in Malawi shares her experience of ARISE and says, ‘Due to lack of awareness and ignorance of the hazards of child labor, we always used to send our children to the field to look after our crops, instead of to school. But when the ARISE initiative arrived in our village, we realized our mistake. We stopped sending children to the field and now strive to send them to school where they belong. I have eight children, but never really thought too much about child labor until ARISE started public meetings about the dangers of it.’

Gertrude has also been part of the ARISE income generating program and says, ‘Along with about 30 women from my village, I have also been learning about business. Thanks to a loan from the Village Savings and Loan Scheme, I bought two bags of corn, cooking oil, baking soda, and sugar and I started baking and selling cakes. I have already repaid the loan and have built up savings. I am also able to provide my children with breakfast, exercise books, uniforms, and other necessities. ARISE also provides additional school supplies to families to ease children’s return to school.’

ARISE aims to end child labor in communities where JTI sources tobacco leaf. We work with those directly affected and with others who have the power to change things. Our initiatives are developed and delivered in collaboration with tobacco-growing communities, social partners and governments.