Helping people to realize their dreams is rewarding for Celeste and Jay, GHNI leaders in Sri Lanka…especially when the dream is to help others realize their dreams. Celeste and Jay share Ashokumar’s story with you.
“The Income Committee reported that the micro-financing loan program works well. Many are interested in obtaining loans as these loans are interest free. We still receiving loan applications. It is up to the committee to check out if the loan requirements are met and the availability of funds to give out loans.
“The Education Committee requested scholarship test papers to teach the children who will be sitting for their scholarship examination this year. This was approved as the total cost for 20 test paper cost approximately RS 4,000 ($30). Payment will only be made once the test papers are purchased and the receipt is submitted for payment.
“Ashokumar is a young man of 27 years. He studied and grew up in the village of Nallathanniya. His childhood dream was to start a bookshop as he lives in close proximity to the village school. He knows how important a bookshop at this location would be to provide the children with their requirements.
“However, before he started the bookshop, as a young man along with his father, he started a market to provide villagers with their daily requirement of food which he thought was the best thing to do. It was a success. He tells me many teenagers visited the market to buy items and this helped him to find the one he loved among these teenagers who came to the market. He married her and his wife is now also 27 years old. They have one child who is a bundle of joy.
“Before long, he also started the bookshop on a small scale. But the demand for books and stationeries increased and they were unable to keep up with the demand. He was looking for financial help, but was unable to find someone to help.
“He came to know about GHNI micro-loan program through customers who came to the market. He immediately applied for a loan and the committee approved it. The money was used to buy additional items and increase the quantities of fast-selling items.
“He now has a bookshop fully equipped. It includes a telephone that the villagers can use to make emergency calls and a photo copying machine which is very helpful to the villagers. He tells me that business has improved and on a good day his profit is about RS 400 to 500 a day ($3-4). He tells me the best day for business is when it does not rain.
“He has not forgotten his humble beginnings and tells us that GHNI is a blessing to all the villagers of Nallathanniya and to the school children who can buy their items in the village and not needing to travel to the next town.”