She Leads! Meet Lemelem

Lemelem is a leader! She is part of a Self Help Group (SHG) in Areka, Wolayta. Before joining the women’s group her family struggled to meet the needs of their 2 children. Their only income was from her husband’s meager income as a petty trader. Lemelem had a strong business idea, but without startup capital, she would never be able to realize her goal.

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In late 2015 Lemelem joined “Reheboth”, a local Roots Ethiopia sponsored Self Help Group. She learned valuable business skills, refined her business plan, and began a small savings account. She saved 12 birr every week along with her team of women. Then, she joined a local ‘Equb’ (an informal rotating savings and credit association common in Ethiopia) and saved an additional 50 birr weekly. Crafting a savings plan and then sticking to it was difficult, but the Self Help Group social and economic strategies for success helped every woman meet their savings goal.

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(The SHG in Areka has over 20 members who meet once a week)

After a few months of establishing solid business knowledge, Lemelem received her start-up capital from Roots Ethiopia and she started selling plastic shoes in Areka and surrounding towns.

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(Lemelem at work, summer 2016)

Lemelem is very successful. She has increased her savings AND provided material comforts for her family.  She bought a bed for her family, is able to make sure her children eat regularly and is tending to her young children’s needs with healthy hygiene and nutrition. She’s looking forward to sending them to school when they are old enough. Lemelem says, “my family is happy, and my marriage is even stronger!” Lemelem hopes she can expand her business and open a shop.

SHE LEADS! We are so honored to share Lemelem’s story! Become a part of a woman’s story and donate to our annual IGA campaign

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Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

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