In a nice single room, a lady stood busily braiding a young customer’s hair as they engaged in a serious conversation spiced with laughter. You could tell the conversation was friendly and the relationship built between them was cordial and respectful. On the shelves of the room were well-organized beauty products, a picture of the president of Kenya, and the business license from the county government. The eyes turn to us as we enter the room and it’s all smiles as she motions us in, saying karibu…. welcome to the Jackline Wanjiru story.
Jackline Wanjiru Mwangi is the first-born daughter in a family of three children. She began attending high school, but was unable to finish her studies due to financial difficulty; her family could not afford the tuition. To make ends meet, she began working as a day laborer, doing any jobs that she could find – mostly manual labor – to help support her parents and siblings. One of these jobs she got was to clean a salon. Over time, she acquired the skills of salon work and enrolled herself in classes to learn to style hair. Eventually, she was employed as a hair stylist in a salon, and she worked like this for some time before she saved some money to be able to afford to buy a blow drier.
She approached Opening Village Doors Foundation and sought help, asking us for a loan of 30,000 shillings – approximately $400. With the money OVDF was able to provide, Jackline purchased a stock of salon supplies and a second blow drier, and began her career, opening Shiku’s Salon. Jackline’s business has steadily grown since then, and she has never missed a single payment – she will fully pay off the initial loan this coming August, two months from now. She now has two full time employees working for her!
Throughout the whole process, Jackline has supported her siblings, a brother and a sister, through their studies in high school, helping her family to pay their tuition so they will not be forced to follow the same path she had to walk, and they might be better prepared for their own futures. Jackline hopes to continue to expand her business and plans to keep working in the salon doing what she loves, thanks to her diligence, determination, ambition, and a little start-up help from Opening Village Doors Foundation.
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