Sunday, May 24, 2015

Meeting Our Borrowers

Meeting our borrowers was one of the most surreal experiences. I remember going through all the applications in class for the Finance team; all the questions we had, all the research we did, and how much we connected with each borrower in their own way. I was most excited for this day because I was so ready to put faces to all the stories. 
So we went to the Daughters of Charity and met with them. Every time a borrower introduced him or herself my initial reaction was to scream 'I know you!!' in my head. It was completely different hearing their stories in person. The borrower who struck me the most though was Miriam. 
Reading her application, I knew that Miriam's daughter was killed by her husband and so she takes care of her grandchildren and eight other family members. She took a loan out through GLOBE for her business of sowing pillows, table cloths, towels, etc. I remember discussing her with my team because she was a high-risk borrower and we did not really know how reliable she would be with loan payments. Now that I've met her, I'm embarrassed and somewhat ashamed that we wasted time on that and did not let her have the loan right away. 
The second Miriam walked into the room I knew it was her. I never understood what it meant to see pain in someone's eyes and hear it in their voice until I met Miriam. Her whole story was told before she could even speak. She told us that she thought she was going to die of depression after her daughter's death. Miriam went to therapy but would still always cry and the only thing that calmed her down was her sowing machine. She invested herself in that machine to get her mind off everything happening. 
While saying bye, she hugged Kevin and I, knowing that we were the ones who did her application, and told us that we were sent from God to her. Hearing that story brought me to tears. I could not believe how much she had gone through and she's still standing strong, caring for her family. She thought WE were sent from God when in reality is the complete opposite. We were the ones who were blessed to meet her. 

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