In rural Ethiopia, a reliable income can be difficult to come by, especially for women. At age 41, Wahid faced the additional challenge of being the sole breadwinner for her family. As a widowed mother of three, Wahid struggled to provide the basic necessities for her children and had little hope for the future.

“I could not entertain the request of my kids for food.”

A year later, Wahid’s life changed after receiving a loan to start a dairy business.

With a US $400 loan, Wahid purchased her first dairy cow and farm supplies. Glimmer’s agricultural lending and training program gave Wahid the skills she needed to care for dairy cows, develop a feeding system and create a business plan.

Wahid holding fresh butter
Wahid preparing servings of yogurt

When Wahid’s cow began producing milk, she started to build a stable income and savings to support her family. By reinvesting in her business, she grew her farm from one cow to five, dramatically increasing her milk yield.

Recently, Wahid took one of her cows to a nearby vet clinic to receive care for an illness. For rural farmers, livestock provide both income and a safety net of savings when an unexpected drought, flood or food shortage hits. Keeping animals healthy is a critical part of thriving in remote areas. Glimmer’s agricultural programs include supporting quality animal care close to home. After taking the cow to her local vet clinic, the cow is healthy and producing milk for her dairy business.

“Now I am changing my life.”

Today, Wahid produces butter, yogurt and buttermilk for both her family and her customers. On average, she makes about US $13 a day from her dairy products. With this increase in reliable income, she settled her debts, reinvested in her business and opened a bank account to save for her family. She now wants to teach other women in her community to start an agricultural business of their own.

“Life was then tough to bring up three kids single-handedly, as a widow. I am now realizing that I can improve my life. I can support myself, my kids. I want to bring up my kids healthy. I want them to keep on going to school.”

Wahid hugging her son