A loan of $825 helped to buy a display case and improve the business with various merchandise.

Mario Alfonso's story

Mario, is 28 years old, and as he says, he learned to be an electrician in the school of life. He managed to improve his skills when he received a technical degree from SENA when he was 22. For a long time, and since he was very young, he worked as an electrician's assistant in informal shops. There he gained valuable experience for when he risked jobs on his own and this was how he learned.

For reasons of destiny, he left his hometown located in the department of Magdalena with his wife of four years, to live in Soledad, looking for a calm and productive life. Initially Mario received his first credit of $1,000,000 COP from the National Government. With this money he bought spare parts, which he gradually accumulated, he bought a display case, and little by little he filled it with merchandise. Now he has display cases, shelves, a work bench and a great variety of tools for the various jobs that he does. In addition to the services he offers as an electrician, he also does maintenance work, repairs and remodeling, which he to say he does everything.

Mario and his wife have 3 young children between the ages of 8-11 years old. His wife accompanies him and also does her own miscellaneous jobs that she can attend to from their home and which allows her the opportunity to care for their small children, this is the benefit of having a business in the home. They began with Fundación Mario Santo Domingo because of a friend that knew the organization well and had become a promoter of its benefits. This friend recommended them to the loan officer, Milgen Sánchez, because she knew that Mario and his wife were very responsible and that the couple is always seeking ways to improve themselves. When SENA brought trainings to their neighborhood, Mario and his wife participated knowing that it would help them to better manage their business.

This will be the second credit with the Fundación for the amount of $ 1.600.000 COP. Mario plans to buy a display case and to support the business. Mario has liked working with Fundación Mario Santo Domingo for the social sensitivity of the loan officers because Mario can be sincere with them so that they can help him most effectively. His dream is to specialize in electronics once the business takes off, increasing his inventory and as a result his sales. His greatest challenge is to obtain a home because his family is leasing. He hopes to qualify for the state programs to obtain homes so that he will no longer have to lease. Mario lives in a good neighborhood because his neighbors like his family and they all help each other, what's more there are many organizations that are based there to support families and especially his childrens' school where they receive a scholarship and Mario is very grateful for the school and he helps with the things that he knows how to do like paint, repair the walls and do electrical repairs. He has earned a good reputation with the director of the school and the faculty that educates his children.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Kelly McKinnon

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