Amani: Artist, Businesswoman, Refugee
Amani is an independent female artist. She has been working in the pottery business for two years buying plain pots and vases, decorating them, and then reselling them. She lives in Baqaa, a Palestinian refugee camp, and tells me its hard selling her goods in that area because the people there are very poor. Instead, she sells her work to stores in nearby Amman.
Amani’s Kiva loan was meant to go towards opening her own store between Amman and Baqaa. Around the time she received the loan, her husband lost a significant amount of money in the stock market and Amani had to use her loan to help keep the family afloat. Thanks to the loan and the additional income from her pottery sales, the family was able to make it through that rough patch. She still dreams of opening a store and plans to do that after her current loan is paid off.
Amani received her Kiva loan through the National Microfinance Bank. She is grateful to them because she says they are easy to work with and if she is ever late making a payment, they understand. “They know how to interact with borrowers in a good way,” she told me.
When I asked her if she thought the loan had been useful she told me, “With the loan, I can make a living for myself. Its better than sitting around the house all day!”