Fatema learned to sew at a young age and now has 10 years of experience in making dresses for women and children and also making small fabric household items based on her customers’ needs. The small, income-generating activity based in her home allows her to be flexible with the household duties as well as with the orders received from her clients.
A major obstacle, however, is the fact that her area experiences frequent power cuts that can last for many hours, with no regular patterns or predictability. This makes planning her work difficult and also leaves her little time for the orders to be completed. To be able to better plan the work and deliver better quality services, she would like to buy a small generator and a new sewing machine. To be able to afford the purchases, she is taking a group loan from Relief International - Microfinance Iraq.
Relief International - Microfinance Iraq offers "group loans" for clients who are unable to provide a guarantor and are thereby unable to apply for loans as individuals. As a group, the members collectively guarantee the loan. Groups consist of 3 to 5 clients, and each client is evaluated on his or her repayment capacity. All group members receive the same loan amount as the individual with the lowest repayment capacity in the group.
Based on the political and social challenges of lending in Iraq, personally identifiable information about this borrower has been altered for her protection. RI-Iraq appreciates Kiva lenders' consideration of these challenges and encourages lenders to continue their support of Iraqi borrowers.
About Relief International IraqRelief International (RI) is a non-profit non-sectarian organization with a multifaceted approach to working in post-conflict, vulnerable and transitional countries. As part of its core mission to bridge emergency relief with long-term development though sustainable, enterprise-oriented solutions, RI directs a broad microfinance portfolio in the Middle East and South Asia. In Iraq, RI microfinance has been providing access to capital for micro, small and medium enterprises since 2006. When lending through RI, there are several points to consider:
1. RI-Iraq offers loans that are customized for borrowers in Iraq, a predominantly Muslim country. A key principle of Islam is the prohibition of charging interest on a loan. This prohibition is based on the belief that money is only a medium of exchange and has no value in itself. In order to offer loans in a manner consistent with borrowers' values, RI-Iraq charges 0% interest on this loan. However, RI-Iraq does charge a servicing fee to cover its costs. The loan amount you see listed on Kiva includes both the principal loan and the loan servicing fees. As with all Kiva loans, you should expect to have your funds returned to you according to this loan’s repayment schedule. For more information on lending in the Muslim world, please click here.
2. Because of on-going security concerns, due diligence on RI-Iraq was conducted remotely, rather than in-person as is typical with most Kiva Field Partners. RI-Iraq does, however, meet all of the other minimum criteria required by Kiva's full due diligence.
3. One of the challenges of lending to entrepreneurs in Iraq is the increased chance of difficulty transferring funds between the United States, where Kiva is based, and Iraq. While Kiva has been able to send and receive funds to and from Iraq in the past, there is a chance that we may encounter problems doing so in the future. This could result in difficulty repaying loan funds to lenders, even if individual borrowers have paid back their loans. As a lender to borrowers in Iraq, you would be taking on this additional risk.
This is a Group Loan
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