Independence is Born From Chickens

Independence is Born From Chickens

Publication info

Amanda Moll

“I’m happy because my business has given me independence and the ability to contribute to my family.”  At 32 years old, Gertrude has 3 children with her husband.  Growing up outside Mutare, in eastern Zimbabwe, she was able to stay in school through her O-level examinations, which take place after the 4th year of secondary school.  Soon after finishing school, she began piecemeal work as a seamstress out of her home.  Although she enjoyed the work, it didn’t provide a lot of profits.  This left her reliant on her husband, and household quarrels ensued about the availability and use of funds within the house.  So, she decided to start her own business to support her household purchases. 

In 2015, Gertrude attended some workshops supported by CARE and local partner DOMCCP, on business management.  After receiving a loan of $90, she was able to purchase 50 “layers”, or chickens intended to lay eggs.  She shared the business management lessons with her husband; in seeing her success and potential, he not only agreed to support her business financially, but he also allowed her to be more mobile .  In just a short amount of time, she has been able to successfully make payments against her loan, and gain independence. 

Gertrude credits her education for helping her get to where she is today; “I wouldn’t be able to do work [like keep record books] and communicate with others.”  She hopes that her children will be able to go even further in school than she did.  When giving advice to other youth in the area, she tells other women to be self-reliant and actively seek-out opportunities to contribute to the family.  It is her goal for her business to continue to grow to the extent that buyers come to her, rather than her going to market!