A loan of $1,825 helped to purchase candies to enlarge his range of goods.

Ismatilla's story

U. Ismatilla is 42 years old and lives with his wife and four children, to whom he is a devoted father. He makes the most of every opportunity, such as when he started selling candies in the food market at Dushanbe. He gives his business constant attention all day long every day, and in this way he has attracted customers. His income enables him to contribute to the home finances. This is an activity Ismatilla enjoys because he can rest from his hard labor in the countryside. He is motivated in his work by the need to support the family finances and take care of his children's education in school. Ismatilla is requesting a loan with which he will invest in merchandise for his shop. He wishes to stock it with more products and offer the best products every day.

More about Tajikistan

Tajikistan, a key post on the Silk Road, is perhaps best known for its rich history. It was the location for the end of Alexander the Great's rule, and is known for its great thinkers, philosophers, scientists and poets such as Rudaki, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Firdousi, Omar Haiyam, Jomi, Mavlavi Rumi and many others. The country, with its epic mountain passes, is home to communities that still speak the ancient Sogdian language and a civilization that dates back to the fourth millennium BC. Even today, it is a complex mix of the Islamic faith, Soviet culture, New West culture and Central Asian traditions.

However, Tajikistan is also the poorest of the former Soviet republics. The civil war, which ignited soon after its independence from the USSR, damaged the already weak economy. In addition, 93 per cent of the country is mountainous and only 7 per cent of the land is arable. These conditions have resulted in high levels of unemployment and have forced hundreds of thousands of people to seek work in other countries, mainly Russia. While the people of Tajikistan are working to improve its agricultural production and manufacturing sector, nearly two-thirds of the population still live in abject poverty.

More about IMON International

Since December 2007, IMON International has worked closely with Kiva and Kiva lenders to ensure that poor and low-income clients represent a viable business proposition. Funds raised through Kiva have already been distributed to thousands of IMON International's clients and will continue to provide thousands more with permanent access to the varied financial services they need. To learn more about IMON International's work, please visit www.imon.tj

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