Meada always wanted to help people and completed her studies with a Technical Diploma in Prosthetics and Orthotics. Since her certification in Iraq in 1991, she participated in further training courses both at home and in Jordan. Her passion to help others, her skills to deliver, and her recognition to the most needed assistance for the people in her area led her to open her own small limbs manufacturing business which she opened in 2009.
The war and continued violence characterized by blasts and bombings have killed many and have left – and continue to leave – even more people with severe injuries and missing body parts. By providing individuals with prosthetics, Meada is assisting adults and children to lead normal lives, participate in everyday activities, attend schools and overcome the challenges of living with physical disabilities, overcome the challenges of dealing with the trauma and remaining signs of horrific past events.
Opening the business was not without challenges. Rent was high cost, and the really good quality raw materials for the artificial limbs are extremely expensive. The high costs would have left many without assistance as the final products would have not been affordable to the people most in need. Meada decided to work with less expensive raw materials from Turkey – rather than using the admittedly better quality, but far too expensive German materials.
Slowly Meada was able to establish her business and started to overcome the initial challenges. She gives much credit to her husband also who has helped greatly at home. Meada and her husband are raising 4 children, and at the age of 42, has the greatest potentials for the future of her business. She is participating in the WLIFT program, taking a SME business loans and participating in business skills training and mentoring to give her the business skills that match her unique small enterprise.
She has currently qualified for a $7000 SME loan which she would like to use for purchasing a new, bigger gas oven, as the one she is currently using is an electric one, making work during power cuts difficult. She would like to replace the engine in the Softening Machine used to make the artificial limps more comfortable. With the new, better quality engine the work will be completed faster, reducing the time for orders to be completed, and thereby allowing for more orders to be taken. With the remaining amount she will be able to purchase more raw materials.
Meada has many goals and plans for the further expansion of the business, she would like to eventually add a training room to the prosthesis manufacturing facility, equipped with proper training aids to help people get used to their new prosthesis limbs. In the video she explains with her own words the future plans:
"Peace upon you! I’m specialist Meada from Iraq. I have a Prosthesis Factory, Al-Jawadeen specialized prosthesis center for the physically disabled. I received a loan of $7,000 from Relief International to improve my business. I would like to expand it as my business needs a training hall with equipment for the men and women (for getting used to the prosthesis). We serve disabled adults and children; adults with prosthesis and children with supportive aids. Thank you!"
More information about this loan
This loan is part of the WLIFT program (Women Leveraging the Internet for Financial Transformation), a partnership between Kiva, microfinance institution Relief International, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and the U.S. State Department. The program combines customized technical assistance with loans for women-owned small and medium enterprises in Iraq to help them grow, increase their profitability, and create more stable jobs in their communities.
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.
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