Ms. Shahida is a 31-year-old married woman who has been in the work of sweater weaving for almost nine years. She works hard on her loom every day so she may earn a living for her family. She is a mother of three children and her husband is a worker in a government sector. There were days when he could not find work and had to return home without any money. His heart was heavy with the burden of facing his family’s disappointed faces. Her children often slept without having any food.
When Kashf’s loan officers found Shahida in these circumstances they informed her about microfinance and the facilities they had to offer. The couple decided to take a loan so she could start her work. She said she remembered doing it with her mother in her childhood and was hopeful that the work would help them fight poverty. Currently Shahida has requested a loan of 25,000 PKR (Pakistani rupee) to purchase bundles of wool and reels of thread in different colors for weaving. This enables her to meet with increasing demands during the winter season.
While speaking to a loan officer at Kashf, Shahida said her children have never slept without having a meal ever since she started working on her own. She wishes to utilize part of the revenue for the betterment of her family.
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.