As a single mother from Dodoma, Tanzania, 29 year old Pendo Komba desired to give her two young boys a better life than she had. As a young girl, Pendo’s stepmother never allowed her attend school past grade 5, and was married off as her parents could not support her. Fleeing from her abusive marriage, she sought refuge with her grandmother, and worked as a housemaid in her village. Underpaid and without any other options, she felt stuck.
When hope was dwindling, she heard of the Village Savings and Loans (VSL) group set up by the local church, in partnership with Tearfund. Joining the VSL group was a no-brainer for Pendo, as her village lacked banking services for those with minimal access. With determination to make a better life for her family, she eagerly joined and began to save for her business. She took out loans from her VSL group to buy vegetables in bulk to sell in the market, and expanded her business by purchasing pigs to raise and sell.
She remarks, “My income has increased from about $1 per day during my housemaid days to about $20 now.” In fact, her income has grown so much that she is an active member of three savings groups! She looks forward to following her dream of beginning a cooking business. She is thankful for the VSL group, as it has helped her family out of poverty.