© 2009 VANWODS Microfinance


I like this photo. Mostly because I enjoy the baby’s expression. But also because I think it implies how tough the mamas have it. VANWODS only holds workshops once a month, for two hours during centre meetings. Still, the mamas need to look after the kids and can’t even get this time to spend on themselves.

I’ve spoken to women who use their loans to begin kato (doughnut) businesses. Their days begin at 2am, when they make and bake the katos. At 6am, the men and children wake up, and breakfast needs to be prepared. The women sell katos during the day, but then the kids come home from school and need to be looked after (that is, if they’re not minding pikininis during the day for relatives/friends/neighbours.) Household chores need to be done, dinner needs to be prepared. The men come back at about half past six, and the whole family has dinner together, before it’s off to bed at about half past eight. Then it begins all over again at 2am the next day.

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