Launched in 2017, the CRC’s microfinance program has provided training and microloans to sixty different recipients, fifty-four of whom are women. A microloan can be the first step in a family’s ability to strive for and achieve financial stability and independence. It can be a life-saving opportunity particularly for households headed by single women.
Tennah Massaquoi is an elderly woman who is the sole caregiver of her two grandchildren; all four of her adult children having passed away. One of her grandchildren, Sally Kaitor, is enrolled in the CRC Program. Life was very difficult for Tennah; she struggled to support and take care of her grandchildren. However, during the CRC’s annual assessment process, staff identified Tenneh Massaquoi as particularly vulnerable, and encouraged her to enroll in the CRC’s Microfinance Program. There she received training in budgeting, saving, managing a small business, and earned a certificate with a small loan of approximately $90. Tennah has used that loan to launch a small business selling groundnuts. Her business is doing well, and she is realizing a small profit which she has been able to use to help take care of her grandchildren. “Before my four children died at a young age, I thought they were going to be taking care of me, the CRC has been my only hope,” Tennah says. It is customary in the Sierra Leonean culture for grown children to provide care for their parents in their old age, but Tennah doesn’t have that opportunity. “Now I consider the CRC as my children,” says Tennah heartwarmingly. The Microfinance Program that the CRC provides continues to support more individuals, like Tennah, in achieving financial stability.
Tennah Massaquoi working with her groundnut business.