Esther

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Kenya

As a teenage mother, Esther was forced to drop out of school and had limited options for supporting her new family. She became a cattle farmer and sold milk by the roadside, but struggled to provide for her family.

As Esther's family grew, so did their hardships. She and her husband had four children. Tragically, they lost one son to cancer when he was just two years old.

Like every mother, Esther is driven to build a better future for her children. She was excited to take out a loan of 60,000 Kenyan shillings ($710). The loan was from Juhudi Kilimo, a Kenyan microfinance institution and Grameen Foundation partner.

She used the money to buy 300 chickens. In just six weeks, she sold the chickens-and earned a 30,000 shilling (~$355) profit! This went a long way toward paying for school uniforms and books for her children.

Esther continues to raise and sell chickens, but she already has big plans. With her next loan, she plans to buy pigs and earn even more to help her family.

As she says "I can buy a pregnant pig for 30,000 shillings. Pigs usually have 10-12 piglets, and I can sell each piglet for 6,000 shillings. And then the pig can get pregnant again and I can sell more."

Esther has had the opportunity to build a profitable business and save money. She's even closer to sending her oldest son to college to study engineering.

Her surviving children are her biggest motivation to succeed: "I'd like my children to grow up and tell their kids that I was a hardworking mother."

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