“My name is Zeuditu and I am the book writer of Michael Yirdan self help group made up of 23 members. When we first began in May 2008 we started saving fifty cents. Today we are saving a maximum of ten birr. Our total capital is about 44,300birr. Our group decided that we would start with an initial loan of 200. Today our loans can be as high as 6000birr. Praise God for bringing us this far! Before I joined the Self Help Group, I tried to get loans from other micro finance organisations but they kept asking for collateral which I didn’t have. We had nothing to offer and so were just sitting at home. Today, I can see that God opened up a bank for us while we were sitting in our homes. It is a bank made up of all of our homes and the people in them. With God’s help we’ve been able to borrow money and educate our children.
There used to be no water in this area because we could not pay for the installation of the water. Now all 23 members of this group have running water in our houses. With the money I have raised from my traditional beverage business I have been able to send my child to school. He has gone to university and is now employed as a manger. I am so glad and grateful. With the profit and loans I’ve received I have also rebuilt my house.
The benefits of this group are countless. I am so happy. We can’t wait until each week comes around to meet. We live in peace. We kiss, love and respect each other. No-one is the same as before. No-one is going to someone’s house for things.
We know each other’s problems. We just look at a person and know there is a problem in that person’s life. We support each other during sickness and other issues. If someone needs to change their life we collect money outside of a loan system and just give it to that person. One members problems is all of our problems. There was a lady that got divorced from her husband. We all contributed money and gave it to her when we visited her. There was another member who was sick recently. We all contributed money and visited her as well”.