Zohra, age 41, is married and the mother of five children. She has expertise in hand embroidery. She has used her skills to provide for her family for more than 10 years. She started in this line of work at a very young age. During the initial years of her business she barely made enough money to purchase the required material.
Today she is proud to be famous in her community as the best at making beautiful patterns with thread and beads. To cope with the increasing demands of her customers, she requested a loan of 25,000 PKR to purchase spools of thread with some packs of sequins, glittering material and pearls. She says that the women in her community are becoming demanding with the passage of time. Zohra has taken up the challenge of satisfying them.
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.