The story below is pulled from our first installment of "Where Are They Now?" as part of our 2016 Giving Campaign. You can find photos and supplementary material here.
Jessy is one entrepreneurial woman.
A mother of 5 and grandmother of 6 children, she joined our program in 2012 with the very first group to complete our skills-training program. Jessy appeared to be shy and timid, but we now know her to be a woman of less words spoken because of the many thoughts she's constantly entertaining in her mind - she's brilliant.
After graduating with excellent sewing skills, Jessy hit the ground running with her business endeavors, despite the cultural hardship of having been left by her husband and enduring the loss of all of her siblings. Jessy applied for our first microloan cycle, was approved, and passed the difficult exam required to receive the microloan funds. With that money, she bought a sewing machine to begin her tailoring business.
Now, four years later, Jessy has greatly expanded her business to include brickmaking, renting out an addition she built on her home with business profits, and renting out a small salon and boutique that doubles as her retail space for her skirt and dress designs.
Jessy has diversified her business plan to ensure that she will always be able to turn a profit and further the success of her family. Jessy is looking for colleges for her youngest children, a rarity when most children do not complete secondary school. She purchased a new stove and fridge to introduce better foods into the family diet.
She is flourishing as a businesswoman, mother, grandmother, and staff member of Clothed in Hope. And is if that's not enough, Jessy even gave up a room in her home to a woman with HIV/AIDS who was rejected by everyone else in the community.
Jessy is now thriving, and makes sure others around her are too. Her success is her community's success, and we are so proud to know her.