Tanzania Borrower Biographies
Napir Me Pukori, Alailelai
Napir Me Pukori was born in 1975 in the neighboring village of Sendui, but after marrying her husband she now lives in Alailelai. She has four children, ranging in age from a toddler to a secondary school student. About two years before WMI came to Alailelai, Napir was already taking an active role in her family's finances with a business of selling maize, sugar, and candy. She sustained many setbacks and struggled to make any profit for her family. Her main problem was lack of capital to purchase inventory.
Since joining the loan program and receiving her first loan in January 2012, Napir is proud that her business has grown successfully. Napir has always stood out as a motivated activist, which gave rise to her position as leader of Alailelai's blue loan group. A wide, beaming smile spreads across her face whenever she explains that she is making a lot more money from her business than before. Using her loan money from WMI, Napir added onions, tomatoes, rice, salt, cough medicine, and clothes to her list of products. She is also able to buy her own goats with the money she's earned, an investment that serves as savings.
Napir thinks the Maasi community as a whole, along with her own life specifically, has been positively impacted by WMI's work. She has dreams of owning her own store in future years, a dream she says would be impossible without WMI's guidance. Her profit goes towards buying soap and clothing for her children, a trend she explains is consistent among women in the program who no longer depend on their husbands for food, clothes, or even school fees for their children. With the freedom to spend their money as they choose, Napir says women are now able to help their relatives financially. She also notices women are better dressed and in general, they are more independent and powerful within their family dynamics. Napir is happy to be seeing the effects of female empowerment in many different aspects of her community.
Nemburis Empapa, Alailelai
Born in the neighboring Maasi village of Alchenemelock, Nemburis Empapa was born in 1972 and moved to Alailelai when she married her husband Empapa at the age of 18. She is one of Empapa's five wives. As one of eight siblings, she walked two-hours each way to the primary school in Alailelai in order to obtain an education. She was grateful that her family allowed their daughter to attend school, as many Maasi families do not see the value in educating women. Although she did not graduate, she was one of the few children in her family to receive any primary schooling. Nemburis has seven children, five are in primary school, with two attending secondary school.
Nemburis' business consists of selling sugar, tea, goats, and strings of beads for other women to do beadwork. While she had her business for six years prior to joining the loan program in January 2012, she feels that WMI has made a huge difference in her ability to provide for her family. Not only does her increased profit allow her to afford her children's school fees, but when her child was very sick she was able to send him to the hospital. While Maasi husbands and wives often keep their money separate, Nemburis and her husband both contributed to covering their son's medical expenses - a major source of pride and empowerment for Nemburis as a mother. Her son's illness put some financial strain on her recently, but she is saving money from her business profits, with the plan of building a small house for her family.
Nemburis takes advantage of every opportunity that WMI has offered her and sees a positive impact on the entire community. Nemburis is seeing her life improve steadily as a result of her involvement with the loan program: since receiving her first loan she bought, and now personally owns, four sheep and one donkey. Nemburis hopes that her business will continue to grow; she is very grateful for her current success.