Kupfuma Ishungu Group
Kupfuma Ishungu is a cooperative group formed by four widows who went from being penniless to becoming livestock owners and a source of inspiration to other villagers in a matter of a few months. The widows named their group “Kupfuma Ishungu”, which loosely translates to “getting rich is a matter of determination”. They received $662 from Munhu’s community grant program in January 2010 and they have now paid the money back in full.
Kupfuma Ishungu was the first group to receive funding from Munhu. The four women joined forces in January 2010 with the purpose of turning their lives and fates around. At that time, each of these women was jobless and penniless, with no major prospects for earning income to support their family. Each of these women was the head of a household, with the responsibility for supporting either their own children or grandchildren left in their care following the deaths of the children’s parents due to HIV/AIDS. Their livelihoods depended on subsistence farming, which had become increasingly unreliable given the many years of low rainfall and subsequent droughts. These women knew that they were ready for a new start; and they had faith on their side. Along came Munhu with the community grant program.
Among the four of them, they elected a chair, a treasurer, a secretary and a committee member. They crafted a business plan asking for $662 as seed money to start the venture. According to the business plan, members of Kupfuma Ishungu would buy day old chicks, feed the chicks over a period of eight weeks until they became chicken, and then sell the chicken to local eateries in townships close to their village. Munhu financed their venture and within six months these women had successfully raised and sold the chicken and made a handsome profit. The women then decided to diversify into goat rearing. Now each one of them is a proud owner of a number of goats, which, in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, is a sign of wealth. This is what the secretary of the group had to say, “In our group, we fed three different groups of broilers and sold them. In the third group, we shared the money and bought goats and food for our children.”
The goats supply milk for everyday use and meat for special occasions. More importantly, the goats represent a source of income for these women. The sale of one goat means these women have money to buy groceries for their families, pay tuition and buy school uniforms for their children and grandchildren, and still have a little extra for a rainy day.