|Meskerm Yeman always had an interest in handicrafts, and from a young age made her own clothing, and garments for her family.|
She got the opportunity to earn a livelihood from handicrafts when Self Help began promoting plans for a savings and credit co-operative (SACCO) in her village, and was looking for local women who were interested in attending a series of SACCO training workshops.
Meskerm Yeman, a mother of two young children, is one of 71 members of her local Cheban Womens SACCO. She used an initial loan of 850 Ethiopian Birr (€70) to hire a local workshop and buy a sewing machine, and bought some materials with which to make clothing and bedspreads.
Once her initial loan had been repaid, Meskerm borrowed a further 2,000 birr (€170) from the Cheban SACCO, and used the money to buy more raw materials, and an overlocking machine – which allows her to finish off her handicrafts to a more professional standard.
She is selling her elaborately decorated bedspreads for close of €20 each from her shop, and in the local market, and says that she made nearly €400 by running her own business last year.