In 2017, forty-two-year-old Edith* (not her real name), her husband, and four children were living in a 2-room cabin in a high-density suburb of Harare: “I struggled to send my children to school. We could afford to eat only one basic meal a day.” Her situation was made more difficult because she, her husband, and one of her children are HIV positive. However, through the prevention of mother-to-child transition care, the other three children are HIV-negative.
In 2018, her situation turned around after enrolling in the AIDS Counseling Trust, implemented by Mavambo Orphan Care’s Mavambo Children Vana program funded by USAID. Through the program, she joined a savings and internal lending community (SILC). SILC groups usually have 15 to 30 members and offer a safe and convenient way to access credit for small enterprises and save money.
“My life changed dramatically since I joined the SILC group.” She started a detergent-making business and supplies local kiosks. With her husband’s help, she started breeding rabbits. “We started with five rabbits, and to date, we have 138 rabbits.” She sells them for US$7 each to local restaurants. “
“My husband and I managed to build a five-room modern house. My children now have a roof over their heads—something I so wished for. Without the knowledge from the program, I could not have built a house and started a business.” She can now afford to send her children to school.