Naseem, 36, is a married woman. Five years ago, she started her own business of making sehra. The sehra is a veil of flowers that a groom wears on his face as he approaches his bride. Her product has a seasonal demand, but that doesn’t stop her from conducting business. She learned the art of making sehra from her father and is proud of it. When Naseem told her family that she wanted to sell her sehrras in the market, everyone supported her because they had seen her father make money out of it. She has 3 children and is happy to be sending the eldest son to school and her younger daughter to an embroidery stitching center. She has gradually improved her business and has requested a loan of 15,000 PKR to purchase material such as cardboard, glittering paper, ribbons and artificial flowers. She intends to use the earned profits to fund her children’s education.
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.