A loan of $1,025 helped to buy raw materials and supplies to make clothing, to buy shoes and baby clothes to sell, and to buy a new sewing machine.

Nora Elena's story

Nora Elena García B. is 33 years old and lives in the traditional neighborhood Olaya Herrera in Cartagena. She is a native of the town of San Juan de Nepomuceno in the department of Bolívar, which at the this moment has been hit with insecurity, violence and forced displacement, requiring Nora to flee this conflict area 5 years ago to the city of Cartagena. She fled along with her 3 children of 9,7,and 2 years and her husband, who works in the countryside since he could not find decent work in the city. It was thus that she assumed the responsibility of supporting the household, practicing her trade as a seamstress that she learned when she was very young. With the help of a generous couple who gave her a sewing machine she was able to start, with great enthusiasm, the business that she has today. She hopes to see this business grow and help her family become more prosperous, and she directs all of her efforts toward these goals.

She feels satisfied with her life, and gives thanks to God daily for being alive. She reaffirms the saying that every cloud has a silver lining, because with the displacement she found the opportunity to have a better future in a different place, which perhaps she might not have had in the place where she was born. In her business, called "Confecciones Angie" (Creations by Angie), she buys fabrics and supplies at low cost and makes economical dresses. She says that with this business she helps alleviate the problem that people have in her neighborhood of not having enough money to buy new clothing, and says that "her customers feel very satisfied being able to wear a new dress for the first time."

Her first loan with the Mario Santo Domingo Foundation was for $1,500, which she paid back strictly according to the established schedule. She invested it in a variety of merchandise that helped her to obtain greater profits, which enabled her to acquire new household appliances and utensils that she did not yet have. She is now applying for a loan of $2,000 that she will use to buy raw materials and supplies to make clothing, to buy shoes and baby clothes to put on sale in her glass display case, and to acquire a new sewing machine, because in addition to making clothes she also sells merchandise in her neighborhood.

Her greatest dream is to have a home and a place to organize and expand her business, managing to acquire state-of-the-art technology and positioning herself in the market offering many jobs and generating profits to help the human, spiritual and professional growth of her children and future employees. Her current challenge is that she lacks the adequate training and machinery to do work of the best quality and to start, along with her husband and his family, to set up and develop a large apparel company.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Lisa Grobar

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