A loan of $1,600 helped a member clothes.

Union De Mujeres En Desarrollo Group's story

Josefa is the coordinator of the "Unión de Mujeres en Desarrollo" (Union of Developing Women) group which is made up of 10 Dominico-Haitian businesswomen from the city of San Pedro de Macoris. The women live in a poor, rural community which is surrounded by fields of sugar cane. The women mainly work selling food, meals, clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics and other miscellaneous products.

Josefa is a Haitian mother who has three children. She emigrated to the Dominican Republic with the hope of achieving a better future for herself and her children. It has been difficult for her to get established and set up a business, often owing to the lack of capital. She is thankful that Esperanza's program reached her community and that she is going to be able to invest in and improve her business. Through her business she will be able to cover her needs and those of her children. She dreams of returning to Haiti and living a stable and safe life.

Josefa's business is selling underwear. She is receiving her first loan from Esperanza and she plans to invest all her loan money in buying merchandise so that she can increase her number of customers and expand her business.

Josefa's story is representative of the other members of her group and Esperanza's clients in general, both the Haitians (many of whom have recently emigrated to the Domincan Republic from Haiti) and the Dominicans. In general they live in very poor communities. This area, in common with many other poor areas in the Dominican Republic, lacks reliable supplies of drinking water and electricity.

In this group: Josefa, Emiliana, Isiona, Nacilia, Yoselin, Nancy, Marie, Florangel, Jocellyne, Julia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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