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With a Grateful Heart I: Mrs. Jabalasa’s Potatoes and Promise

By Sonja Egeland Kelly

This year as we stock up on pumpkin and pecans, cook our Thanksgiving meals and recount our blessings, I am reminded of those who provide their communities with food. In particular, I’m thinking of an Opportunity International client with a food retail business who has found security in financial services this year.

Mrs. Jabalasa has a successful potato business in Malawi. She wakes up early each morning to arrive at the Blantyre Market by 4:30 a.m. She stacks her potatoes and takes her place on the tarp from which she operates her business. She knows her clients, and she knows what a quality potato looks like.  At the end of the day, she gathers her profits, packs up her business and returns home just before sunset. For the past two years, her business has thrived, and Mrs. Jabalasa has reaped a “bountiful harvest” of profits.

This year, however, she found financial security for the first time. With a recommendation from friends, she opened a savings account with Opportunity Malawi. Having previously kept her money hidden at home, the promise of security for her savings is a great blessing for her. Mrs. Jabalasa has saved $114 to date. The bank is close to her business, and she is grateful that keeping her savings there is safe and convenient.

I myself am thankful for women like Mrs. Jabalasa, who provide food for their communities and security for their families.

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