She carefully examines the crops being grown. She turns to us and says "Before I was a simple farmer, but now I no longer go into the fields; I pay workers to go and work in my field.
Forty-nine years old and a mother of eight, Leonie is an inspiration to many young girls in her village of Tinge Maboya, Democratic Republic of Congo. She grew up in extreme poverty nearly her entire life, but this all changed when one day her church started saving and loan groups.
“After I became aware of the project I decided to join and have never regretted this decision. We work together to help pay for school fees, medical care, and food. We get to do big projects with the small contributions we make weekly. I myself was able to pay my children’s school fees, even for those who wanted to attend university.”
The group provided Leonie the confidence to take on greater challenges. Today, she is currently a trainer in the program, helping others escape poverty the way she did.
“As women, participating in this program allows us to regain confidence in our abilities, and show society that we too can contribute to the development of their society and families.”