For a lot of us money is the goal, the reward. But to a [social] entrepreneur money is a tool to make change. Borrowing money to make money is the alchemy of the modern day. When the ultimate goal of making that money is to change your life and the lives of those around you at a very profound level, then that’s pure magic.
That’s what I’m witnessing here in Tam Ky on a daily basis. Mrs Hanh is pure magic. She’s scrimped and saved, borrowed and begged from family and friends and already she’s doing what so many of us only dream about – she is quite literally changing the world.
This restaurant is not what I was expecting, even though I’d seen the original architect’s drawings, I genuinely think I understimated her. Shame on me. Throughout all the worry that comes with the risk of a new business, Mrs Hanh has kept her vision strong and now that we get closer to the date, and Kiem has moved in and she’s getting phonecalls on behalf of other orphans hoping to move in, the itch is getting so strong to just get this place going.
Right now I’m Mrs Hanh’s employee. She’s not paying me but she’s treating me very well – if you’ve met her, then you know her hospitality knows no bounds! I’m here as a sounding board and as company when she’s shopping for all the millions of small things. I’m also supposed to be sharing photos and stories with you to let you see what’s happening and, ahem, encourage a little more dosh in the pot. But I’m afraid I’m not expressing the sheer amazingness of it all. I don’t know how to tell you how absolutely awe inspiring this place is. Mrs Hanh’s biography will be a bestseller some day!
And how can you support this one-woman wonder?
Send her happy vibes, she’s totally stressing. She’s got a to-do list the height of her and she’s still taking care of everyone else. Send her the price of a cup of coffee or a weekday lunch – knowing that if you ever come here you’ll get a lot more than that back. Know that she will take note of every loan and make every effort to repay it in full within 10 years. She’ll note every donation and instead of repayment, she’ll pay it back into the community by using it to send a child to school or help a family out of poverty. Share this page and maybe someone else might throw in the price of a coffee too and it keeps rolling.
In the right hands money is magic , it’s a tool that can change the world.