“Gone are the days of helplessness; I see a bright future in front of me: Mulunesh Tolosa

My name is Mulunesh Tolossa. I am married and a mother of one child. I dropped out of school when I was grade 11 and got married. My younger sister who is living with me has been beneficiary of the CFTC child sponsorship project. My sister was selected as a beneficiary of the project because we have lost both our parents. When our parents died, my sister had nowhere to go, so she started living with me. After the death of my parents, I had just given birth to child. Right at the same time my husband, who was the bread winner of the house abandoned me. As I had no income of my own, I couldn’t feed myself let alone my sister. I had no experience going out of my house to work; neither did I have the money to start business. We had no choice except staying in our house and starving. In fact, that was the worst period in my entire life.

Government office workers who knew our problems were facilitated the acceptance of my sister in ISAPSO’s CFTC project and that was a relief to me. My sister began to get educational and food support from the project. As families of children supported by the project are also considered, I joined a self group and started to save some money on weekly basis and through the project we got trainings. The trainings were eye openers. We got skills through the training that would help us to make business activities more productive. Understanding the importance of saving I cut down unnecessary expenditures. Apart from what we saved, the project provided us with financial support.
For the first time in my life I started a business with 1000 birr loan I got from the group .I started selling children’s clothes moving around small villages around Chancho town. I started making good profits. After I got the second and third rounds of loans from my groups, my group my capital grew to 5000 birr. With this money, I began to trade adults’ clothes in addition to children’s clothes. As my income increased, I joined Iqub and collected 10,000 birr. By combining the 10,000 birr I got from the Iqub with my savings of 4,000 birr from my group, I brought a plot of land and built a three room residential house with 24000 birr. Even then, I had not stopped saving, I saved weekly without interruption. I save my daily profits into my bank account. Currently, I have property worth about 60000 birr. I have no doubt I can make a lot more progress in the future because I have now understood the secret behind success i.e. saving and planning.
Being organized under an association is yet another is yet another important factor to success. It was difficult for me to socialize before I joined the self help group, but I have developed the skills. It has enabled me to learn from my peers ‘experiences and this has helped me to develop my speaking skills.
I’m now planning to acquire permanent place for my business. Having said all that, I’m fully aware that I couldn’t have succeeded without the generous support of ISAPSO and  the CFTC project.”