December 15, 2021

"This is Change"

Author: Glimmer
Workie with crop

When Glimmer began work in Libo Kemkem, Amhara, we met Workie, a woman who struggled for years to support herself and her children after the death of her husband. We were inspired then by her resolve and determination to keep going. We continued to meet with her over the course of the project as she took a loan and grew her business.

Now, Workie’s agriculture loan and trainings have changed the direction of her life. She has expanded from harvesting and selling garlic to growing onion, teff and chickpeas, with plans to rent additional land to grow potatoes.

“When Glimmer came to my community, I was able to take a loan and better harvest my onions. I was successful. I was able to pay back my loan with interest. Now I save and I am still working with the profit. This is change.”

Workie’s success also led her to become a leader and role model in her community, helping others to realize their potential. Workie was selected to receive training as a peer leader on Covid-19 prevention. She also serves as a cashier at her local financial cooperative and coaches other borrowers to be successful.

“We have created a community that accepts training and follow through. Some people ask me for advice on how to improve themselves and become successful. A lot of people have changed after seeing what I have done—working in their fields rather than selling the land and not sending their children to cities for labor work.”

Workie Portrait

As Workie continues building her business, she still faces the challenges of Covid, severe weather and the ongoing regional conflict in Ethiopia. She is managing the challenges with ingenuity—like when she recently shifted to selling homemade injera when corn prices escalated due to high inflation. Over time, she put her extra profits in savings, creating an extra safety net. Despite the challenges, Workie is resilient and hopeful for the future.

“My hope for the future is that my children reach a great place and have permanent jobs. I wish for all my plans to be successful. I am planning on starting a nursery for tress and becoming a provider in my community.”