Miriam Istabua

“I love the uniqueness of Seed Effect from other community organizations; especially the education seminars and discipleship program. Here we are taught the Word of God and many vital issues of life.”

It’s not uncommon for a South Sudanese to have to choose whether to feed their kids 3 meals a day or send them to school.  And when faced with this decision many turn to the cheapest and most lucrative start-up they can find – brewing. The reality is that there’s no shortage of demand for locally brewed alcohol. Alcoholism is rampant in South Sudan and the local brews are viciously powerful and completely unregulated leading to both addiction and severe health problems. So, while it’s not illegal, brewing local alcohol is often viewed unfavorably due to it’s negative impact on society as a whole.

Miriam was a brewer. Partly by choice as it brought in money but also, in her eyes, by necessity as brewing was cheap and she didn’t have access to capital to start a different business. But when her business was robbed and she had to sell the food meant to feed her family to get medicine for her sick kids and pay school fees, she knew something needed to change.

She worked hard for two years in a hotel saving up to start her own restaurant. And in 2008 she opened the doors to her very own small business but she struggled to grow it and achieve her vision. That’s when she joined Seed Effect.

Because of the microloans she invested in her business and access to ongoing education, she was able to transform her small restaurant to a local, booming, hot spot.

She shares, “I love the uniqueness of Seed Effect from other community organizations; especially the education seminars and discipleship program. Here we are taught the Word of God and many vital issues of life.”

Before joining Seed Effect, Miriam was a Muslim. But through God’s Word and the Seed Effect staff she has heard about the truth of Jesus Christ and chosen to follow Him.

Miriam says she feels empowered by the opportunity provided through the microloans and encouraged by the success of her business. Her family no longer is hungry or in need of funds for medical treatment. And she can even take pay school fees for all of her children. But more so, because of the discipleship she receives, she feels hopeful and empowered.

Stories of hope, opportunity, and perseverance motivate us to action.

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