“Sewing” Seeds of Success
Written by Plant With Purpose on June 23, 2015 in General
Have you seen Plant With Purpose’s latest Annual Report? Filled with stories of impact,updates on program growth, and in-country accomplishments, the report shares highlights from fiscal year 2014. Sia’s story (below and originally appearing in the 2014 Annual Report) is one example of how Plant With Purpose’s three-part approach is changing lives in some of the poorest places in the world.
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The complete 2014 Annual Report is available online.
“Sewing” Seeds of Success
With hard work anything is possible. This is the reality that Sia Muna is experiencing. Her other secret to success, she says, is to “accommodate God” in all aspirations.
This 25-year-old woman moved from a poor community to Marangu, Tanzania to seek greater opportunities for her future. As a choir member at the Ashira Lutheran Church, she learned about Plant With Purpose’s Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs). Three years after joining the group she was elected secretary, one of VSLAs’ five leadership roles.
Over the years Sia watched her finances accumulate. With her savings and a loan from the Marangu VSLA, she invested in her own tailoring equipment. During the second savings cycle, she took out a loan to pay six months’ worth of rent and opened her very own tailor shop.
Following the weekly VSLA meetings, Sia received training in organic agriculture and caring for the environment. She couldn’t wait to implement what she was learning and spoke to her landlord about using a small plot of property to prepare and plant four garden beds. Her organic garden now produces enough food for her diet as well as extra vegetables to sell at market. She has a faithful following of customers including the students at Marangu Teachers’ College. With income from her produce, she is able to cover her tailor shop rent. Sia also started a tree nursery. Sales from the 5,000 seedlings go to support her family.
Because of Sia’s initiative to implement environmental solutions, her VSLA group was awarded a gold medal for their environmental efforts at the annual Plant With Purpose group competition. The group won farming tools, a treasured commodity.
“My relationship with Almighty God grows day after day,” says Sia. She also experiences an inner peace as she is no longer dependent on others to provide for her basic needs. Because of her endeavors, Sia is earning about twice as much as her average countryman, increasing her security and well-being for a successful future. Sia’s hard work, initiative, and savings are paying off.