Farzana, age 22, is a vigorous unmarried lady. She did not get married due to lacking the money for a wedding. Four years ago, she started a parlor in a small corner of her two-room house. Along with her younger sister Sameen, she works hard day and night to give the parlor a strong local reputation so that they may be able to provide for the family.
Farzana and Sameen labor tirelessly to keep the business running because they are the breadwinners of the house. There are seven dependents on these two women since none of their siblings are old enough to earn themselves. Two of their sisters are enrolled in school.
The sisters have reported to Kashf that it has been getting extremely difficult to manage the family, as the parlor is running on minimal necessities, causing clients to be hesitant to avail themselves of the parlor's services. This is why Farzana has requested a loan worth RS 25,000 from Kashf. She tells us that she will be using the loan to invest in utensils, cosmetics, and some furniture items for the parlor.
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.