Jonah Mbabazi

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Jonah is an inspiration. Once the proprietor of a small restaurant on Buhoma’s main street – the Kyirahuura Bwindi Hotel, she is now the proud owner of the only community grocery shop in her village of Nyakatore, just around the corner.

Rents on the main street simply became too high, so Jonah was forced to innovate and find another way to better make money. Jonah took a loan of one and a half million Ugandan shillings from R4W in order to make ready a room in her own house with its own customer access, from which she could sell her goods. It’s a delightful setting, very welcoming and as a visitor you do just want to buy from her.

Already a participant in R4W’s microcredit programme, this is Jonah’s second loan. She closely manages her costs, mark up and profits so that she has a clear idea of how her business is progressing.

Kyirahuura means ‘helping to unburden’; apt for a restaurant but so too for the marvellous little grocery store she now runs under the same name. From crockery to charcoal, cooking oil to the local favourite drink of Bushera and groundnuts ready for traditional g-nut sauce (it’s delicious!), Jonah keeps her village community supplied with all of their daily life essentials and all within a very short walk of their homes.

With the profits from the business Jonah is able to support her family of five children (ages 12 – 22) – with clothing, food and education; she is happy.

Commenting on the work of Ride 4 a Woman, Jonah said: “Eve and the organization are so close by it makes it easy and convenient if you have concerns or questions about running your business or anything to do with the loan. If you want advice, you simply walk there! I am one of the founder members and have been supporting the organization since the beginning – I feel so proud to be a part of it.

I had used initial profits from the restaurant to build my house so there was no more left for school fees. Moving in to my house meant that I could save the rental cost of the restaurant and that plus the profit made in the shop now pays for school fees, which isn’t cheap at 400,000 shillings per semester for two children.

Ride 4 a Woman is a fantastic organization providing accessible financial support for women. I am asked no questions concerning the whereabouts of my husband and his involvement in paying back the loan; the ownership and responsibility is entirely mine, giving me the independence to run this business by myself.

I have nothing but enormous praise for Eve in having the vision to start this up. Myself and others have found ourselves in a bad financial state but now we can stand strong and proud because of the help of R4W.

The work Eve has done with her life is tremendous. She has shown incredible strength and continues to do great things.”

Sharon Hedges