"The two boys are actually my nephews but my wife and I adopted them because their parents couldn’t support them. I was working as a moto taxi driver at night and a mechanic during the day. My wife and I have two daughters already and my sister-in-law lives with us to help afford the $40 rent. The children moved in with us but didn’t have paperwork in order to register for school. My neighbor told me that VOICE helps kids go to school, so we came to the centre.”
Two weeks later after the boys were re-registered for school by VOICE, Sovan had his moto stolen. From experience, we know that the only way someone living in poverty can access money quickly is to borrow from a loan shark or to deal in illegal work. The interest on the loans is so high that it can take months to pay off an $80 principal balance. VOICE agreed to provide a small business loan to Sovan.
“I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to feed the kids. Loan sharks make you pay so much extra money and I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Now I'm almost done paying back the loan to VOICE since I only have to pay a little bit at a time when I have the money, I feel so excited about the future. I’ve been taking care of my family on my own. My wife and I want to ask for another small business loan once we finish this one so that she can also make money and support our family. We feel so happy.”
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we serve.