This may seem like a small step, but for Penina it was huge because she's faced a lot of hardships. First, she lives in a rural town that has no running watering and only a couple of boreholes where people can access water. You can imagine the job opportunities in such an underdeveloped area in a country with 40% unemployment rate. In spite of this, she has been able to stay in business and is excited about where she sees her family's future. With her Kiva loan, she was able to purchase more stock and thus boost her sales during the end of year holiday season. This has allowed her to continue paying for her children's school fees, which are a big expense for Kenyans families. Only one in five youths graduate from secondary school.
During my visit to her business and her home, I learned that one of her immediate family members tragically passed away in December. She told me this was one of the most difficult times in her life. She was determined to continue living and working hard to provide for her family throughout this hard time. In fact, she recognized that one of her neighbors was in need and has hired her as a full-time employee. During the busiest time she even needed to hire 2 seasonal workers. Her decision to embrace her grief and then to focus on others around her (her family and neighbor in need) is trully inspiring to me.
She plans to one day have the largest retail store in Kangundo so that she can provide a quality education to her children.
So now what? It's still Monday! How do you make it better? Empower a Kenyan small-business owner by gving a Kiva loan! That'll turn your Monday blues into a smile...actually lots of smiles: