Six years ago when Suraya’s son fell ill she thought she would lose him because paying the hospital bills seemed impossible. It was under such tremendous stress that she decided that her husband’s daily wages were too erratic to rely on for any sort of expense. She decided to open a retail shop in a small corner outside her house. This helped her bring a reliable source of income home, pay her utility bills and save enough so her children can go to school. She said if she could reverse time she would force her parents to send her to school so she could be educated enough to work as a clerk. Now her dream is to send both her children to school so eventually they can work in an office and provide for their families in a much better way. She says that with Kashf’s help and her hard work she will eventually make this possible. She recently borrowed Rs 40,000 and used it to buy dozens of eggs, spices, sweets, biscuits, etc for her retail store.
About Kashf Foundation
Kashf Foundation is one of the leading microfinance providers in Pakistan, focused on expanding financial access for poor women across the country. The organization’s economic empowerment program has grown from 913 clients in 1999 to 284,653 clients as of May 2012, with a current outstanding portfolio of US$32 million.
Kashf has trained over 227,000 clients in basic financial literacy and systemized financial education since 2010, in addition to providing training in gender justice and empowerment to over 12,500 participants since 2011. This group includes clients, their husbands and adolescent boys in their communities.
Over the past 16 years, Kashf has disbursed an estimated 2 million loans. Today, it operates in 16 districts in Punjab province and 1 district in Sindh province through a network of 157 branches. It plans to open 19 new branches to cover all four of Pakistan’s provinces.