By Jovia Kadoma
When students returned home because of COVID-19, many decided to engage in different activities to keep busy, but also be able to earn an extra income.
I started off by engaging in agriculture. Together with my family, we decided to plant food crops such as beans, cassava, maize and groundnuts. We also planted vegetables including eggplants and green pepper. While some of the produce was consumed at home, we were also able to sell some and make extra income.
This has all been possible because of the financial support extended to us through RUFORUM.
Before the COVID-19 lockdown, I was already investing part of my savings from the scholarship to construct basic housing units that I could rent out. With the continued support from RUFORUM, I am now at the roofing stage. I see this housing venture as a long-term source of income for me and my family.
In the meantime, I have expanded my source of income by engaging in another enterprise-selling shoes and clothes. The business is thriving and I have been able to learn lessons from it.
For example, I now understand what risk-taking means, decision making, finance management, profit sharing and maintenance of a business.
Still with support from RUFORUM, I have been able to partake in a number of online courses, including a course on the fundamentals of digital marketing.
As a student of Food Science and Agribusiness, I believe that having digital marketing knowledge will be critical when it comes to promoting my business to a wider client base.
But despite these successes, there are a few challenges that I faced during the lockdown, including finding an appropriate location for my shoe and clothes business, but also the fear of contracting COVID-19 since the business involves face to face interactions.
As the government continues to ease the COVID-19 restrictions, my plan is to save money which I will use to complete my housing project.
I also hope to continue advertising my business and reaching more clients through digital platforms such as social media, thanks to RUFORUM for providing us with internet data throughout this period that we have been at home.
I am thankful for the support from RUFORUM, and I will ensure that my business succeeds.