“I want to see my children have a better life.”Dino, Garden Shop Owner, Ethiopia
Dino has always felt the weight of being a father. With four children to support living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he wanted to give them the education and life that they deserved.
As a former soldier who was hit in the hand by a bullet during conflict, Dino was left to earn an income to support his family by taking on small jobs on construction sites or carrying firewood to private homes.
“Of course it was not enough,” he told us. “I was not able to feed my children enough nutritious food throughout the year, and I was facing shortage of money to buy their scholastic materials.”
Dino had dreams of starting a business, but he had no start-up capital or assets to invest. That’s when Canadian Feed The Children’s local partner MCDP stepped in.
PLANTING A SEED
A group of five men, including Dino, were given 25,000 birr ($1,770 CAD) to start up a garden supply store on a median on a busy road in Addis Ababa. They purchased all of the seedlings and products they needed to begin to sell.
They also received training in business, entrepreneurship, and customer service skills – new knowledge that is helping to grow their garden shop business, and Dino hopes, will help him start an additional small business of his own one day.
Their customer base has grown from families who want to decorate their compounds to people representing hotels, companies and parks. He’s learned how to build good rapport with customers, and has started to add more variety of trees based on their demands.
A GROWING BUSINESS
“God is sending us money like rain,” Dino’s business partner Nour expressed, when asked how the garden shop was doing. They earned enough with the start-up funds to take out an additional 25,000 birr loan through a government micro-finance program, which they have successfully been paying back.
They have also been earning 1,000 birr ($47 CA) each per month. Dino uses the extra income to buy food for his children and he puts the rest in savings for his future plans.
“I had been struggling with life for a long time,” Dino explained. “My life has changed since I started to be involved with MCDP. My children now eat better quality food and I fulfill scholastic materials they need without any challenge. I do not even have to worry about lack of capital to plan to grow my business. I plan to support my children to reach a higher educational level – I want to see my children have a better life.
I am proud of myself, and I think I am on the right track now,” he said, as he looked over his garden shop full of flourishing plants, seedlings and new life.
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