By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Mary Wachinga has a passion for children. Born in Nyeri, Kenya, she studied in school until form 4. Afterwards, she started working for a shoe business, where she stayed for two years before making her way to Nairobi to start a cereal business. After running the cereal business for quite some time, she was ready to pursue her dream of caring for children.
Although running a daycare is not an easy career, it’s one that Mary loves. She has faced a number of hardships along the way especially struggling to pay rent. Through the years she has continuously learned, grown, and persevered. She receives support both through local churches and well wishers in the community. She also has three children of her own in addition to the orphans that she cares for. She has also been able to employ three employees in the business.
She shares, ‘I love this work with passion and during my leisure time I teach them songs.’ In describing the services and support that she offers she says, ‘I provide caring service and also counsel for the young parents who are upcoming and tell them how to nurture children and cope with the problems that children come through.’
Mary finds so much joy when she sees parents heeding her advice and raising healthy, happy children and families. Her love of nurturing comes naturally as caring for children is something that she learned from her own mother.
Through her business she is able to earn enough to provide for her family upkeep, education for her children, savings, and basic needs for the children in her daycare.
Mary first discovered Zidisha in July of 2015 and used her initial loan of $100 to purchase mattresses, bed sheets, and covers. This was an important investment in her business as she wanted the children to be able to sleep well. In addition, this would show parents that their children were well cared for.
Shortly thereafter, she received her second Zidisha funded loan of $194 in November 2015 with which she purchased a tv set, a digital set box, a dvd player, paint, labor costs, and bed sheets. Then, in April of 2016, she requested a third loan for $411. With this loan, she put up a new ceiling in the building. The loan also covered costs for ceiling plates and additional timber, nails, labor costs, as well as school fees for her children.
By October of 2016, Mary was ready to continue expanding her business. With a $615 Zidisha loan, she was prepared to set up a new room just for babies less than a year old. To make this happen she used the loan to pay for: rent, a ceiling and nails, bed sheets, mattresses, transport, labor, and kids toys.
On October 19, Mary enthusiastically shared, ‘Thank you my lenders for the good work you have done in helping my business grow well. I was able to put up a ceiling and the place is quiet and also I have been able to take my children back to school and its also taking another stage where I want to rent an extra room for the small babies with less than a year. It’s really doing well.’
Most recently, in November of 2017 she requested her largest loan yet of $1,120. Mary was ready to do some maintenance work on her building using part of the loan to repair the floors as well as money to transport the repair materials. She also purchased additional bed sheets and used the remainder of the loan to pay college fees for her daughter who is studying Mass Communication and school fees for her high school age daughter.
Always thankful and grateful for her lenders, Mary shares, ‘Hi my trusted lenders. I am grateful for the last loan fund which has brought a great difference after the extension of my business which has enabled me to pay school fees well for this year and even support the orphans that I have. Though your support I afford a thousand smiles.’
If you want to help another borrower witness a thousand smiles in their community, head on over to our Lend page to read more inspiring stories.