Ms Kalsoom is a 42-year-old, energetic, married woman. She is a mother of seven children, four of them school going. For the past seven years, she has been doing a business of manufacturing waan (which is a material used in making charpoy, i.e., a bedstead of woven webbing or hemp stretched on a wooden frame on four legs, common in Pakistan). She offers various kinds of waan in different colors, and has become famous in her community for providing good-quality waan.
Her husband is working as a labor worker in the power looms, but his income is not sufficient to meet the needs of his family members. She requires improving her business, so she applied for a loan of Rs. 30,000 from Kashf Foundation. In this way, she will be able to buy another waan-making machine for her husband to use, to assist her in his free time.
While speaking to a loan officer at Kashf, she said that her children have never slept without having a meal, ever since she started working on her own. She wishes to use part of the revenue generated by using the loan, 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.