After supporting high schools and colleges for 18 years, you may wonder if all of our students get jobs. Please keep in mind that if a student can't afford college, they are not likely to have a job. We work in an area of the country where jobs are very scarce. We estimate that only one in one hundred have a job.
In 2015, ZSF took on a challenge. We decided to give out micro loans. We decided we would not give cash, we would give the equipment entrepreneurial minds needed. Anyone interested in making a job for themselves came into our office in Zambia and filled out an application form.
We got 78 applicants that year. We were able to help 55 of those applying.
After one year later, visiting with these recipients, we are happy to report that one in four had created a job that was sustaining their families. However we faced many challenges, one being transportation. We hoped these recipients could come to a meeting every month and report on how their job was going. But many picked up the items they needed and headed back into their village. Town was a two day walk for them. If they did come to town, it was just to sell their wares and go back to their village to make more. Also, because they were making so little, it was barely enough to support themselves and their families.
This year we hope to help many more but we are not calling them micro loans, we are calling this new phase in our program "Micro Funds". The new micro fund program will be ongoing each year. We need your ideas for jobs people could create for themselves and we need your financial support.
150 buys a treadle sewing machine
500 dollars builds a chicken farm
50 dollars buys a two burner stove and pots and pans
50 dollars buys a tortilla press, bee hives, blender
100 dollars buys a used freezer (for smoothies)
You get the idea . . . send us your ideas!
$150 buys a treadle sewing machine