The Townships Project A Canadian non-profit jumpstarting business in South
African townships through microlending, microfranchising
and asset based community development.
Canadian Charitable Registration Number (86418 8420 RR0001).
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Paulinah Kgarebeng, seamstress near Groblersdal in Mpumalanga province. Paulinah is a seamstress and clothing maker in Groblersdal, Mpumalanga province, South Africa.  She has been a micro-borrower since May 2008.  Her biggest concern in life is her seven children – two of whom are working, while the other five are still in school.

In South Africa, the family must pay for school uniforms and books and this can get quite expensive for those in the lowest income brackets such as Paulinah.  If she cannot make enough money, her children will not be able to attend school. Although Paulinah is very adept at sewing, she could not always afford to purchase the raw materials needed for making clothes or other items to sell, as she simply did not have access to that kind of money.  When some family friends introduced her to Tsoga Micro Finance, that changed.  After attending a borrower meeting, Paulinah decided that she would take out a microloan so that she could grow her business.  With the borrowed funds she could finally purchase the raw materials needed to kick-start her business and she soon started to produce uniforms for different schools and churches.  In addition, she now makes items to order and even buys and sells by-products like curtains and garments from the factories.

As a result of her microloan, Paulinah was able to prepare for her wedding, which took place in December 2008.   She also encouraged her husband to join the organization soon after, as he specializes in welding.  He used a loan to launch his own business as well. Paulinah says she is now happy knowing that her kids can go to school with a full stomach and is less worried about the future.

When asked if she has any advice for other prospective borrowers, Paulinah`s response illustrates one of the most inspiring aspects of microfinance: "To those who want to join, they must know that Tsoga [loans] can only help those who want to help themselves."

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