Being a breadwinner in a country where the economy is unstable is a nightmare that many women can only hope to be emancipated from. However, this does not daunt Barbra Sibanda, a 39-year-old mother of five from York 2, Ward 14, Insiza District. She is an enthusiastic SASA! FAITH Lead Community activist. It has been through SASA! FAITH that Barbra has managed to realise that she can provide for her family and ensure that she takes her children through Primary and Secondary education. She realised that it is the power within that can enable her to realise her potential to change things for the better. The values of love peace and dignity, which are the cornerstone of SASA! FAITH have motivated Barbra to work extra hard so as to provide for her family. Barbra is customarily married and has five children, 3 boys and two girls.
For years on end, Barbra’s family had no source of income as she and her husband were unemployed. Having three meals a day was a luxury she could not afford. She helplessly watched with a painful heart when her children were chased away from school because of school fees debts as she could not afford to pay for all of them. One of her children just completed her Secondary education, one is in Secondary school whilst three boys are in Primary school. Barbra was elated to be selected to be one of the lead CAs in her ward in the SASA Faith Program. That’s where she learnt about the Income Savings and Lending’s (ISALS) scheme. Through the ISAL group that she joined she managed to kick start her Income Generating Activities which includes poultry, buying and selling of clothes, fish, vegetables and other food staffs. With the profit that she makes from the IGAs, Barbra has managed to buy a television stand, room divider, kitchen utensils (pots, plates, cups, teapots), blankets and a farming rack. She can also afford to pay school fees for all of her children.
“Being part of an ISAL group changed our lives for the better. Now I can provide for my family and can afford to take my children through school. One of my girls (child) just completed her secondary education as a result of the proceeds I got from the IGAs I am running. Most importantly, my husband is very supportive in the business because he is the one who goes to sell our products as far as the mine sites riding on his bicycle. This has also strengthened our relationship as a couple”
SASA! FAITH is a wonderful initiative that is very instrumental in restoring the dignity of women and help them realise their capabilities. Barbra’s dream is to cascade down the knowledge she has to other women in the community and help them realise their potential.