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Need: Seeking individuals to become spokesperson for First Step Initiative!

Lizette breading my hear during my visit to the DR Congo!

Here my wish list for First Step Initiative (more specifically for women in the DR Congon)--

I am looking for individuals who might be interested in becoming friends, ambassadors or spokespersons for First Step Initiative to help us spread the word about our work in the DR Congo and help connect some of the women we work with to individuals/organizations that might be interested in helping women in the Congo create lasting change for themselves and their families. By becoming a friend, ambassador or spokesperson of First Step Initiative, you will help women such Lizette achieve their full potential. Please see Lizette's story below, and I hope that you will join me in this effort to empower women in the DR Congo!

Lizette

I met Lizette five months ago during my visit to the DR Congo and her story inspired me. Lizette is 19-years old and the oldest of five children. She graduated from High School this year and hopes to attend college in the fall. Despite the fact that she is only 19-years old, Lizette is the breadwinner in her family, and takes care of her mother and four siblings. Lizette runs a small hair salon which she started when she was 14 years old after she discovered that she was very good at braiding hair. Since then, she has used that talent to generate income to help her cover the cost of her schooling and take care of her family. Over the years, she has been able to help her family but has not been able to grow the business to the point where she can withstand any economic shocks. For example when she is unable to braid hair due to illness, that usually impacts the entire family. Her dream is to grow her business to the point where she can hire other young people her age and train them to do the work. Lizette is a savvy young lady and has a lot of potential. However, to be able to achieve her dream, she needs capital to invest in her business. She joined First Step Initiative about three months ago, and she is on a waiting list for a loan. Once she receives the loan, she will rent a place and purchase all the necessary equipments to run her hair salon. Having a place of business will help her attract more customers than she is able to do today. As it stands now, she operates her business in an open space which is not attractive and the customers have to seat on the ground. We know that the $50 loan that Lizette will receive once it is available, will help her grow her business and bring in more income to support her family and also pay for her college education. This picture really captures her "can do" spirit.

Comments

Hello Chingwell,

Thank you for bringing Lizette's story here to PulseWire!

I'd love to speak with you about creating a more formal article featuring some of First Step's "success stories." I am hoping such an article would both encourage person-to-person giving and help publicize the needs of your colleagues.

Please email me if you are interested in working together on this.

In partnership,

Maria Jett, Online Community Director

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