I am Mrs. Bolanle Ishola, the secretary of Temidire Union, Abeokuta 2 Branch, Elega, Abeokuta, Ogun State. I reside at Iberekodo Area of Abeokuta. I got to know about Grooming Centre around March 2010, when Grooming Centre came to Abeokuta. Before I obtained loans from Grooming Centre, I experienced financial constraints in running my provision business and was unable to replenish my stock regularly. The first loan I received from Grooming Centre was NGN20,000 and I am presently on the 5th [Small] loan stage (NGN70,000). I am also on the 3rd stage of the Festival loan (NGN50,000). The current profit from my business makes payment of children’s school fees easy. I have also been able to buy a piece of land on which I am currently erecting a house. The good thing about Grooming’s loans is that the repayment is well spread, making it easy to pay back. Also, the encouragement to save enables me to have personal savings for various needs. I am so grateful because my life and those of my family has changed for better since the day Grooming Centre came to Abeokuta.
I am Mrs. Omolara Oyewole, the leader of Ifesowapo Union in Ijoko branch, Ogun State. I sell baby products. My friend invited me to join Ifesowapo union in early 2010. Since I joined, I have had no cause to regret my action. The first loan I took was NGN20,000 and I am presently on the 5th stage. From the gains of my business, I have been able to sponsor my son through polytechnic education without owing anyone. Also, the shop I use presently was built from the proceeds of my business. Grooming Centre loans are very good compared to other microloans that I have tried before because of the simplicity in repaying them.
My Name is Mrs Adewale Olanike, member of Orelayo Union at Alpha Branch, Ede, Osun State. I sell raw food items. My husband is a civil servant with the Osun State Water Corporation. His salary could barely sustain our family needs. Before I joined Grooming, life was difficult – we could not eat three square meals, the children’s needs were not adequately met, their school uniforms were torn with several stitches and patches, and paying their school fees was a daunting task. My shop could best be described as empty; the little profit I made from sales went back to the people I purchased the goods from on credit. I knew where to get the goods on wholesale and make more profit but I lacked needed capital. A friend introduced me to Grooming Centre but I was reluctant because I had heard tales of some microfinance institutions absconding with people’s money. She encouraged me to give it a try, as she confided in me that she felt the same way when she wanted to join.
The following week I decided to visit the meeting place and observe. To my surprise, I met happy people. I realized that somehow I had subconsciously detached myself from the community. I could not remember the last time I was at a gathering of people. They told me the name of the group “Orelayo” which means “friendship is fun”. I joined that day. Now, I am presently on the fifth stage which is NGN70,000. I have also obtained the Festival loan. The repayment style is very encouraging and the extension of the Festival loan repayment period, from three months to four months, shows that the Centre listens to their members. My business has taken a new dimension as I now buy my goods directly from wholesalers. The era of my children wearing tattered uniforms to school has passed. Grooming Centre has put a new song in my mouth. Grooming is synonymous to PROSPERITY!!!
My Name is Mrs Odunola Busari, a member of Iderade Union, I sell clothes and shoes. I joined Grooming Centre in 2010. Before I joined, I was a full time house wife solely depending on my husband for money. Things were a bit rough and I knew I had to engage in something to complement my husband’s income. We acquired a shop with the hope of starting my own business but we had very little money. One day, a staff of Grooming Centre came to our area to tell us about how they empower women. I showed some interest and they promised to give us a loan after four weeks. A group was formed and we [women] named it Iderade. I was selected to become the Secretary of the group. I am happy not only because I am financially empowered, but that many women’s lives are being positively touched by Grooming Centre through our union. My business is on track and I have been able to fulfill my lifelong wish, which is to send my children to private schools as education is the best legacy I can give my children. I pray that God will continue to strengthen the Management and Staff of the Centre in their quest to eradicate poverty and promote better livelihood.