As a single mother of three school age boys Neetha works two jobs to provide for her family.  During the day she works in a nearby coir mill, making products from coconut fibre.

During her evenings and weekends she makes pickles and snacks which she sells to local schools and shops.  The Mia Fratino loan has helped her to buy food staples, basic appliances, plastic bags and a sealer to create the air tight packets.

This funding has allowed Neetha to get the momentum to grow her sideline business.   In the past she did not have enough spare money to purchase enough raw ingredients to create a worthwhile income.  Now she is able to process commercial quantities to sell at a profit.  This profit then gives her the income to repurchase more ingredients to continue the cycle.dsc_5139

A leg injury now makes work in the mill very difficult for Neetha, so she hopes to expand her snack production so that she can stay home and work at her own pace.  This would be a great outcome for Neetha, to have a sustainable income and spend more time with her children.


dsc_5129dsc_5137Examples of Neetha’s snacks produced in her kitchen.

Udsc_5109dula 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. dsc_5090

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.

dsc_5100Every 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.