The day's field visit had brought me to the J.M. Hat branch of DCBS, Milaap’s partner that I've been working with for the last few months. Their work is mainly centered around empowering women to start a business or learn a specific trade. They provide small loans that are used fund these entrepreneurial efforts at a low affordable interest rate. Today, I met members of a group of women led by Marjina Halda that have been associated with DCBS for about 5 years.
I spoke with Selima Sekh, a group member, who lives at home with her husband, her in-laws, and her 5-year-old son who will be starting his education soon. For the past few years, she and her husband have been involved in an animal husbandry business, where they raise cows and a couple of goats. She explained to me that raising livestock was a full-time job and a lot of work. Luckily for her and her family, business has been smooth, and they were able to sell a few cattle for a decent return. "During Eid, it is important to have cattle available, and luckily, this year, we were successful," she told me as we walked from her home to her newly built shelter for her animals to rest under during scorching hot days.
She had recently also opted to receive a loan for a solar lantern through a partnership between DCBS and Milaap. She told me that the lantern was very helpful during the walk from her place to the livestock shelter at night, which she often has to do to check on the animals. "This area is not the safest place at night and there have been recent burglaries," she offered. The lantern has definitely made her and her family feel safer during the night, when there are no street lamps to guide the way. She wanted to thank the kind people that have raised money through Milaap for their cause.
Selima standing in front of her newly built shade for her livestock