Fresno woman gets loan to grow her dreams

FRESNO, Calif.

Fifteen thousand of those dollars have ended up in the hands of a foundation dedicated to ending poverty and hunger here in the Valley.

57-year-old Mayoua Vue moved to Fresno in 1991 from her home in Laos. She and her husband eventually made their way to Oregon to farm.

But when her husband died four years ago, Mayoua moved back to Fresno to be with her children.

Daughter Yubi Vue says her mom started a backyard garden to keep busy, but that garden has now grown to a six-acre farm overflowing with a wide range of vegetables and flowers in every color of the rainbow.

Yubi Vue says her mom would never have been able to get a conventional loan to start a business, but Mayoua applied for and received a micro-loan from Feed the Hunger Foundation, an international foundation dedicated to eliminating poverty and hunger by making micro-loans.

Patti Chang, the CEO of the foundation, says Mayoua is a prime example of how a small loan has allowed an otherwise unemployed middle-aged woman to not only grow and bloom, but make a profit.

"On her little six acres she grows a greater diversity of crops than anyone I have seen both internationally as well as domestically," Chang said.

Mayoua, or "mayflowers", as she is often called. sells her flowers and vegetables at various local farmer's markets.

She has no desire to expand, but Chang and those at Feed the Hunger Foundation hope she will inspire others in her community to grow their dreams.

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