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Nicole is 43 years old and lives near Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital city, close to where she grew up as the youngest of nine children.  Her parents died when she was a child and so she was unable to complete her secondary school education.  When her parents passed away she worked with her aunt on her farm.

Nicole is now a vegetable farmer (pictured watering Kale) and a single mother to four children aged from 15 to 22 years old.  The younger two are still in secondary school.

With 10 other farmers Nicole forms part of a group called ‘Goupe Bomoko’ who together receive training and access to a loans from one of Opportunity International’s local partners - VisionFund.  With her first loan, Nicole bought new watering cans, a hoe and a rake as well as seeds and manure.  Alongside this she received agricultural training to help her improve her farming techniques and practices, ultimately increasing her harvest.  She also received a school fee loan which enabled her to pay her children's school fees and keep them in school. 

Looking ahead Nicole plans to build her own house and expand her activities to be a pig keeper whilst also continuing to save in her new savings account for her children.

Thankfully Nicole and her community have not been negatively affected by COVID-19 and were able to sell their recent crop harvest at market.