ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (EE)

Economic empowerment (EE) is one of the major activities of the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) through the Maboshe Small Village Bank Fund (MSVBF) is an initiative of Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) in offering small loans for bigger businesses and business management training, to reduce poverty among households through provision of small microloans for bigger impact, savings accounts, financial training and micro insurance to the rural/remote community's most disadvantaged people of western, Zambia to start income-generating projects.

Upon the successful setup and operation of the project, each unemployed women who takes care of disabled children and other vulnerable children living below the poverty line will repay the original loan which will then go to MSVBF. MSVBF's microfinance saving and credit office of MMC works with the in rural/remote communities to improve living standards by encouraging them to become entrepreneurs and self-employed with microloans and establish the creditworthiness and provide them with access to microfinance credits.

Western province is one of the poverty stricken province in the country thereby poverty is a prerequisite condition and favours fast spread of HIV infection. The poor economic and social instability, the conditions that are at their extreme in complex have eroded the caring and coping strategies of individuals and households.

It is the mission of MMC to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of these populations, to preserve the integrity and dignity of populations living in poverty and to provide opportunities for generations born into the cycle of poverty. Maboshe, in Silozi means a good man. A saving- and credit has a membership of 10 to 15 members. Its members meet once a month and contribute small amounts of money between US$ 50.00 and US$ 100.00 towards their Savings- and Credit. All payments are written in a book. The monthly meetings also serve to exchange news and discuss other than financial problems.

In recognition of the fact that 80% of Western Province of Zambian live below the poverty line, Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) has developed a savings-led micro finance model known as Maboshe Small Village Bank Fund (MSVBF), to offer the poorest families in the community a strategy to protect their assets, smooth cash flow and increase income.

In this activity there other sub activities carried out to full the objectives of the organisation as far as this major activity is concerned and among them are the following:

§ LIQUID SOAP MAKING: - This was started as an activity of helping the lowest income unemployed young women living below the poverty line and opens up possibilities for self - employment and income generation and solve a problem of lack of soap they would use in daily life in their homes. After many young women gaining experience and having surplus soap in their homes, we developed an idea of using the same soap to become an income generating venture and a job opportunity to youths by selling it to hotels, shops, dispensaries, Shoprite, lodges, restaurants, butchers, local markets, villages and various schools at a competitive price. We hope to open up a small factory within the future to maintain and grow this business.

§ SHAMPOO MAKING: - After many women being too broke that their hair used to look so bad and disappointing, we initiated an idea of at least everyone being able to make her own shampoo to wash her hair and look smart. This later it became an income generating venture for many women and organisation after trying to sell to hotels, shops, dispensaries, Shoprite, lodges, restaurants, butchers, local markets, villages and various schools at a competitive price and this worked for them.

§ CANDLES MAKING: - The same applied to the candle making activity, we were trying to solve a problem of darkness within families of members by teaching them to make homemade candles but later turned into an income generating project to the organisation by selling them at retail and wholesale within business center.