Chipo Chikwinya (63) is a married woman with two daughters. Before the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, Chipo’s work life was focused on her catering enterprise, Chikwinya Food Court.
Chipo sold sadza and chicken, earning approximately US $2,800 each month. Her business crumbled after the Covid-19 lockdown, leaving Chipo with no choice but to retrench all her employees and close shop. The shackles of poverty began to make a footprint in her family’s household. Chipo was failing to provide for her family’s basic needs, and after the lockdown, she attempted to resuscitate her business with no success. “After the COVID-19 lockdown, I reopened my business but failed to re-stock because I had used the money to buy food and pay bills for my family. I failed to fully resuscitate my business,” Chipo said.
Chipo’s fate changed when she registered under the GOAL UPLIFT programme funded by USAID. She received US $630 under Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) in six cycles to cover her family’s needs. Through training from GOAL, she also joined Kuguta Kushanda, an Internal Savings and Lending group with ten women. Chipo received Income Generating Activity (IGA) training and Selection, Planning, and Management (SPM) training through GOAL. Through Kuguta Kusanda, she borrowed USD $1,455 to boost her business.
“My business is back to normal capacity. Two of my employees are back at work. The business is now giving me a regular income to buy food, medication, and pay school fees for my grandchildren,” she added.
Chipo’s business now earns up to US $2,400 per month. Her income can cover bills, including residential and business rentals. “I have also built my rural home; two round huts and a two-room flat house with savings I got from my profits. Upon retirement, I will go and stay in my rural home. I am grateful to GOAL and USAID for giving me a second chance in life,” Chipo said, with a smile.
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