Savings Group Client, Dominican Republic
“My greatest achievement is that my kids are alive and grown with their own families, and I have a roof over my head. They are all very good kids and I know I have done my best, thanks to God.
My memories of the past are hard to face. I sell empanadas and two other local favorites: sweet beans and coconut candy from my home. Some ingredients have become hard to obtain recently. These challenges bring me back to when times were hard. Then, I say to myself, I can face any challenge.”
“The kids were growing and expecting to start school. I could barely feed them let alone educate them. I had to increase my daily income. That’s when I started a savings box.” No sooner did Lenore begin to make progress, she lost her house in a series of storms that destroyed the structure and carried her savings box away with the debris. She was shocked when she found the box and even more so when she found her savings intact. Intent on erecting a stronger shelter, Lenore began rebuilding her home brick by brick.
A true entrepreneur, Lenore raised her four children on her own as a single mother in the Dominican Republic. “When my kids were young – too young to leave them home on their own, I came up with a plan to make Johnny Cakes to sell to factory workers the next town over. Even though some neighbours were certain I would fail, I was able to build a nice customer base. Before long, my customers begged me to make empanadas and fruit juice, but I did not have a refrigerator.” That’s when a friend told Lenore about ASPIRE and the Aspiring Together Women’s Groups and their leasing program as well. She shared, “That’s when my business started growing by leaps and bounds.”
Lenore’s four children have grown and blessed her with eight grandchildren. She is the President of her Savings Group. She used the leasing program to obtain the refrigerator she needed and small loans from the savings group to continue to expand her business. As she shared her achievements, she recalled her daily 3:00am journey to the factory in time to sell the Johnny Cakes at 6:00am. The load was heavy, balanced upon her head and laden upon her shoulders in a backpack with heavy buckets weighing down her arms and hands. She was away from home during long, hot days. Today, she can afford to transport her goods and she looks to the future with excitement.
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