Tell it to Chuck

I love Kiva, for lots of reasons, its one of my all time favorite websites and businesses.
This morning I got an update about an entrepreneur I loaned to recently:

Charles Omondi received a loan of USD 225 from his lenders. Having received his loan, he embarked on contracting a carpenter to make his seats… By the end of it, Charles managed to get two sets of seats and tables that can accomodate a total of 12 customers at the same time.

Awesome, another African-run business is growing and I helped, but Charles’ backstory is incredible:

Charles Omondi is 49 years old, and is living with HIV within the Kibera slums of Nairobi. He is married and has two wives, one living with him in Kibera, and the other living with his aging mother back in his home village in Busia District, in the Western Province of Kenya. In total Charles has 11 children, two of which with his first wife, now deceased. Three of his children – all daughters – are married, but the other 8 children, together with his wives and his mother all depend on him.

Chuck started saving money and started two businesses, which he runs to this day with the help of two employees and his wife.

Moral of the story? Next time I hear someone complaining I’ll just say: Tell it to Chuck.

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