SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS

People join in Village Savings and Loans (VSL) to save money and make loans to each other; they can then buy rabbits, chickens, pigs and goats or a group agriculture project. The group contributes 60% of the project cost; BDS matches with a 40% grant.

IT STARTED WITH A MUSHROOM SPAWN

 My name is John. I would like to thank BDS for encouraging us to work together to develop our community and family. Personally, I learned how to work with others for a common goal. BDS helped us grow vegetables: maize, beans, and potatoes. We were able to sell them and start our community savings and loan group. BDS also gave people in our community four mushroom spawns each to be able to grow capital.


When we harvested, we ate some of the mushrooms and sold others. We loved them because they tasted good and, like eggplant, are "poor man's steak." When I realized that mushrooms yield a better profit than other crops, I decided to borrow money and invested it in mushroom farming.

I invested $113 in this project and after only one month, sold $177 worth of mushrooms - and I am not even halfway finished my harvest. Looking at the raw materials I bought to make mushrooms and the mushrooms that are growing, I see that I will easily make almost $506.

I have been able to buy a goat, a pig and 6 chickens from my first investment. We are making a lot of money that we never made from other crops, and we thank BDS for opening our eyes.

John