Ms. Shahnaz is currently running a stitching school in her house. She is known around town as the best stitching teacher in town. She has been in business for seven years now and says that these seven years have been a blessing. She provides for her four children who are going to school, because unlike other children in town, their mother is able to pay for their education.
While speaking to Kashf's team, Ms. Shahnaz shared that life was not like this before. She, along with her husband and children, lived in a broken down, one-room house with the minimum of necessities. Taking a loan from Kashf helped her account for expenses she thought she could never bear.
Now, she has requested a loan of 20,000 PKR to purchase new stitching machines, threads, needles and other wants to accommodate two new students, increasing the total number of students to seven. Ms. Shahnaz decided to use the profits for the well-being of her family and to improve their standard of living.
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.