Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 2 in the Congo

We began the day with Simeon's interview. Simeon is the managing director for Hope Congo. His smile lights up a room and is rumored to have the best smile in all of Africa. I Agree:) Simeon eloquently and passionately delivered the mission and heart of Hope on camera. He talked about the effects of war, the widespread poverty in the Congo, and how he believes that Hope's efforts to bring empowerment and training through small loans will be a sustainable answer to the many problems facing the region. We visited a local market where we met a loan officer by the name of Joly who introduced us to several clients. We had the priveledge to interview them about their businesses. Leonnie, the owner of a plantain shop, is on her 6th loan cycle with Hope. She delivered a message of gratefulness for the opportunities Hope has given her, which have ultimately allowed her business to grow abundantly. Gulienne, a merchant of household products beamed with pride while showing us her business. It warmed my heart to see the joy and self confidence these Hope clients exhibited. A small loan can greatly enhance the lives of entrepreneurs and I got to see this firsthand today!

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