Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Rose Hotel

My credit union coaching partner and I would like you to meet someone. Yesterday we had the
privilege (and indeed honour) of visiting Dashdulam the owner of the The Caphau Motel (Caphau means Rose in Mongolian).  She is an incredibly inspiring woman with a perpetual smile who with the assistance of her credit union, aptly named the Good Life SCC, has transformed her life into a decent and dignified "good life". One that is immensly better than she would otherwise have had she told us. She did so in the face of great financial and physical adversity. We were only able to spend about 30 minutes or so with her but in that short time we learned about a wonderful story that really exemplifies the reason we coaches travel thousands of miles to help credit unions in developing countries like Mongolia.

Dashdulam in her hotel
When Dashdulam was 5 years old she became afflicted with polio. Life was obviously very difficult for her. We didn't get much in the way of details about her upbringing and her life as a growing child, teenager and adult this country. But its pretty safe to say that she's faced many challenges and barriers in her life along the way. She was able to attend primary and secondary school and she had a keen interest in becoming an accountant. She did not pursue her dream she explained to us because employers would not hire someone with the physical disabilities she possessed. She moves around with the use of crutches. It appeared she could not put much weight on her legs and dragged her feet for the most part. She told us that her life changed 9 years ago when she saw an ad in the local newspaper about a credit cooperative that was just opening up, where people like her, people who could not even dream of doing business with a bank could have access to financial services like savings and business loans. Dashdulam owns a very modest home on the outskirts of Ulaanbatar. We did not find out how she came to own the house but I assume it was handed down to her by her parents or other family. She decided to take control of her life and start a business. A home based business would be best of course considering her physical challenges. This would allow her to work and earn an steady income without leaving home. With loans from Good Life she converted her home into a 4 room motel. With a noticeabley excited  look in her eyes and a strong sense of pride, she readily approved our request to take video and shoot pictures of her place. I can't over emphasize the word pride. She was so happy about what she'd accomplished so far in her life and was eager to have these strangers from Canada visit her place. 
Charlie and Dashdulam outside the Rose Hotel

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