There are few things as universal as a mother’s love. Kiva loans support a hugely diverse range of borrowers, hailing from over 80 different countries, but one thing remains a constant: the touching stories we hear of mothers putting the well-being and education of their children above all else.
Although we all have plenty of reasons to call our mom or send her a card this Mother's Day, here are 3 women who will further inspire you:
Sento lives in Makeni City, Sierra Leone and sells local food, soft drinks, and condiments out of a small store on the side of a main road.
She works 16 hours every day and sleeps in a tiny room behind her shop in order to make sure her inventory doesn’t get stolen. Sento’s proudest achievement is that her earnings will allow her 4 children to attend junior high and high school. Her greatest goal is to eventually be able to send them all to university, a chance she didn’t have herself.
“In those days they didn’t allow women to go to school, but now it is different,” Sento said.
Sento is on her fourth loan through Kiva and has been able to support her family by expanding her shop and buying more products. She has used the increased earnings to purchase a piece of land on which she will build a new dwelling and a more permanent shop space. The new arrangement will allow her to ensure the safety of her merchandise while sleeping comfortably in her own home and will provide bigger market opportunities.
Fesulai is a mother of 8 who lives in a small seaside village near Samoa’s capital, Apia. Fesulai and her husband are a resourceful pair who provide for their family by running 3 businesses together. Their main source of income is fishing, so Fesulai has used most of her loan from Kiva to purchase fishing equipment. Additionally, she bakes chicken-filled buns that are sold at the village’s Bingo nights. The couple has also purchased a weed-eater and are supplementing their income by cutting the lawns of some of the residents of their village. Although Fesulai wishes to improve her home and to buy a secondhand vehicle, she is putting her needs on hold until she is able to earn enough money to put all of her children through school.
Ni Wayan is the leader of the Bun Lestari group in Indonesia. She is a rice and cacao farmer who used her Kiva loan to purchase pigs which she plans to raise and sell. The yield of her rice crops depends largely on the weather, which has been unpredictable in the past few years. Ni Wayan was able to anticipate a lack of crop yields and has will be using the pigs to stabilize her family’s income. Her wish is that all of the women in her group are able to purchase more pigs and hopes that their selling price increases so they can all earn a higher income. Her children are her biggest priority and she plans on doing all she can to help them continue their education. Her biggest wish is for them to learn English so they can work in the nearby Denpasar airport where they will be able to earn a good salary.
Dorothy Canfield Fisher once said, “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” Every day, mothers all around the world make sacrifices, both big and small, to ensure the success and happiness of their children. This Mother’s Day, let’s all honor the dedicated and generous mamas in our lives by showing them some extra love.