New Life – Suzannah Guya

“I always dreamed of starting a business so that I could educate my children and raise our standard of living. In 2018, I heard about something called VSLA from other women in the community shortly after I decided to join. As a VSLA member, I was able to borrow the money I needed to start up a vegetable shop at the trading center. I cannot describe how important the VSLA is to me as it has had an impact on almost all aspects of my life.

Firstly, I have been able to provide for my 3 children; they are all in school and I can with certainty say that they are all going to finish this term without being sent back home. In cases of illnesses or emergencies, I can cover the expenses with funds from the VSLA’s welfare fund. It is a great relief, because it prevents me from having to take my children out of school or cut into my business assets. Secondly, besides earning a higher income, I have developed as a person. I am the chairperson of the group and it is my responsibility to mobilize the other members and to ensure that we are following the right procedures. I feel well respected by all the other members including the men who accept being led by a woman. I think many men have a new-found respect for women because they can now match their husband’s income. Men have realized that women can play a bigger role and make valuable contributions in decision making and planning for the future.

As a female leader, I hope I can inspire other women to be more confident and take advantage of the opportunities the VSLAs offer. Particularly, I think it is important that women in Kisumu As a female leader, I hope I can inspire other women to be more confident and take advantage of the opportunities the VSLAs offer. Particularly, I think it is important that women in Kisumu realise that they have a voice and that their decisions are as valid as the men’s.” that they have a voice and that their decisions are as valid as the men’s.”