"My name is Shacha Gufa and I am an E-Face MEDA client. I live in the Sodo Town woreda of Hibret Kebele with my wife and five children. With the exception of my eight-month old baby, all my children attend school. My wife works outside of the home as a coffee trader to help supplement our family's income. To help improve my family's financial situation, I joined E-FACE in 2012 as one of the first project clients. Under this project, I became a member of my kebele's Village Savings Lending Association (VSLA). It has been almost one year since the inception of my VSLA group and my life has changed drastically since that time. Being a part of the VSLA allowed me to start saving my money and it gave me access to services that helped me improve my income. Most importantly, my VSLA group brought me together with a network of people who are eager to better our community.
Through the insight that I received while participating in the training sessions, I realized that I needed to invest in a modern weaving loom. Before joining the VSLA, I would have never gained the courage to change a tool so instrumental to my livelihood. However, with the help of my VSLA group, I was able to save money and take out a loan in order to purchase an upgraded loom. To date, I have produced only high quality material with my new equipment and I hope to continue improving my skills. However, I do require more training and I am dedicated to learning and changing my life."
With the help of the VSLA and the training programs, Shacha can now envision a future where he is able to better manage his weaving income. The E-FACE project will help Shacha, and others like him, to produce more textiles based on market demand. In the meantime, he will focus on his product quality and learn new designs to boost his capacity.