Emelita lives in Data Meta Nuntetuk in Uma Tolu, Viqueque Municipality. Emilita has two children under the age of two. She and her husband, Geraldo, are farmers growing ginger, taro, cassava and red rice. Emelita and her husband participate in ADRA’s Farmers to Markets project supported by the New Zealand government.
Since 2017, Emelita has run a small kiosk from her home, which sells basic goods like instant noodles, oil, salt, coffee, tea, and sugar. Recently, Emelita fell sick and she had to buy formula to feed her children. She struggled to run her business and she found that the goods she had for sale were not what the community wanted to buy.
Emelita and her husband are members of the Birumah Jaya Savings and Loan Group set up by ADRA. In the Farmers to Market Project they attended business skills training and learned how to create a business plan. Earlier this year, through a COVID-19 response grant provided by the Embassy of New Zealand in Timor-Leste, ADRA was able to supply the Savings and Loan Groups with a $500 subsidy to support food security and livelihood recovery in Viqueque. Emelita and her husband submitted their business plan to the savings group and took a loan of $500 to invest in their kiosk. Emelita travelled to Dili with the $500 plus $300 of her own savings, to buy more goods for her kiosk. She has found that now she has more buyers because the goods she sells are based on the community’s needs.
Emelita is thankful for ADRA’s Farmers to Market Project business training where she learned to track her expenses and profits. Now she is earning $10-$20 per day and she plans to pay back the loan within five months so that other group members can have an opportunity to take a loan.
Author & Photo: Virgilia Maria da Costa, M&E Officer © ADRA Timor-Leste