Udula is a remarkable woman, despite her impoverished circumstances, at age 48, she readily welcomed into her home a baby left abandoned by the roadside. This charitable act placed a great strain on her household, but despite the difficulties of her life she has unwavering conviction, energy and determination.
With her adopted son now 4, and at the age of 53 Udala works very hard to make ends meet.
On her small plot of land she has been growing some vegetables and betel leaves, but has needed to carry water from a nearby well to irrigate the plot. With the loan from Mia Fratino Foundation she has built a pipeline from the well which not only eliminated the heavy carrying, but now means she can concentrate on the plot to increase yields. The improvement has meant she can sell more produce in the market and create a better life for her son.
Although Sri Lanka is in a tropical zone, there are long dry spells between the refreshing monsoons. But the monsoons can also bring bring disaster. This year the May monsoon caused havoc in the country with widespread flooding, and Udala lost all her betel and chili crops. Fortunately her vegetable crops survived which has kept her spirits up and her goals on track.
Every month Udula makes the long journey from her rural village to meet with the other women in the micro finance group and make her small loan repayment. At the meeting, the group share their stories and support each other.
As well as meeting her loan schedule, every month Udala has saved a little extra money and deposits it in the bank. The extra savings she is depositing are very important for Udala, as it is proof that her business is building a better future for herself, and at the end of the year, the Mia Fratino Foundation will double the total savings she accumulated as a reward.