"My name is Elizabeth and I am 43 years old. I came here (to Bor PoC site) in 2013, and have stayed here up to now. Earlier this year I heard that there was an organization that works with vulnerable mothers and widows, providing training on business skills. I now began my own restaurant in December last year.
We were trained on how to do savings and they explained that by doing the saving we could share the money with others and for ourselves as loans for start-up capital. Now we meet as a group, and we can get a small amount of money as a loan, and then you go and buy and sell things and bring back the profit and save it.
After saving for six-months, we can distribute our savings back to ourselves if we want.
In the training they also provided information about how to spend the money you receive, you have to make sure everything you buy has a benefit to it. You should not buy something where you get a loss. You have to assess the market. We were also told how to attract the customers, you have to talk to them politely, and give nice words to them. And because I am running a restaurant, we talked about how it should be very clean, and how you cannot miss a day of serving. You should not miss opening the restaurant.
They also explained that as a group we should not all be selling the same commodities. We should sell different things. Some are selling fruit in the market, some are selling charcoal. So we are all getting different customers.
Now we are active women, we the mothers are in the market now, because we have been given this initiative
Since joining this group, I have used some money to make my restaurant bigger, and some of the other mothers in the group have joined me working in the restaurant. Now we feel like a team.
If my business continues, I hope to open a bank account. It will benefit our children, because we can afford to send them to school. Many of the mothers in my group would not have been able to start activities without this group, because they had nothing to begin with."
For more information about UNDP work in Bor PoC, make sure to read our recent coverage on vocational training programme graduation for 200 women and girls.