Namibia: Grandmother Supports Orphaned Grandchildren through Micro-Credit (April 2007)


Josephine Nuuyoma, age 65, and her husband, Frans Shiimi, have lived in the Omusati region of Namibia for more than 51 years. She gave birth to nine children, six of whom died from HIV/AIDS-related illnesses. Thanks to a micro-credit program supported by PEPFAR, Josephine has become a self-employed businesswoman, selling bread and marula oil to support her extended family. She received start-up capital of US$100 (approximately $15) through a loan from the Village Health Fund Project run by a PEPFAR partner organization. Earning a profit of nearly N$90 per week has allowed her to support six of her grandsons who were left orphaned by AIDS. She pays their school fees, buys books and clothes, and covers hospital expenses. A shrewd money manager, Josephine is even able to put some money away for the future.

Josephine recently took out her third loan of N$300 (approximately $43) to expand her business. She used the loan to purchase materials for her business, which is located near the local school. She sells bread to students every day when school lets out. "My bread is so tasty that it only takes them a few minutes before they are finished," she said. Josephine also supplies bread for weddings, funerals and other occasions.


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