Khatro’s Story: How Financial Literacy And Access To Finance Changed Her Life

My name is Khatro. I am the mother of 11 children. I live in Kismayo, Jubaland State of Somalia. 3 years ago I was in a very dire situation and I could hardly feed my family. We were dependant of the support our community could provide. Fortunately, an initiative started to support the most vulnerable people of our community. A community relief committee had been set-up and they agreed on the criteria to select the beneficiaries. I was so happy when I was informed that my family was chosen to receive regular cash transfers!! This money helped me a lot to cover for the basic needs of our households, especially during difficult times.

Later on, I was encouraged to join a group of 15 people willing to engage in economic activity.  We received not only some training on entrepreneurship and information on the market’s opportunities but also US$ 500 to start a business. We decided to open a shop. Every week we were meeting to review how our business was doing. And it was doing well! I realized it was a good investment and wanted to start my own shop to make an extra income for my family. I convinced my husband it was a good idea. So we did our best to make some small savings and I could open my little shop in Kismayo town.

Later on, I joined some information sessions organized by the project and AMAL bank to understand better how to run well a small business. The bank said they could offer some loan if we were meeting some conditions and partnering with a trader. I was interested as I needed more cash to buy more products for my shop. As my business group had opened a bank account, this helped me to meet the conditions and to open an account as well. I partnered with a wholesaler I knew and asked for a loan of US$500 from Amal bank. The bank paid directly the goods to my partner and I was able to get the stock. Thanks to this investment I had more customers, made bigger incomes and I was able to pay back the loan on time, in 6 months.

Since my experience was positive, I took a second loan of USD 1,000 in order to increase my business and I paid it back in six months as well. My business is booming and I need more stock, so now I have made a new loan of USD 2,000 that I am currently repaying. I have been able to save money. I have US$ 1200 in my bank account.  So I am very confident in the future now! I had never imagined I could have access to this type of financial and business opportunities. I am so grateful!!! This project has changed my life! I am also very proud to have inspired two other members of my community to follow my example and ask for a loan to finance their business ideas!”

Note: This is one example of one of the success stories enabled by the EU investment implemented by the STREAM consortium in partnership with Jubaland’s authorities

Source: EU Delegation in Somalia