Ms Shamim Akhtar is a 36-year-old married woman and the mother of one son (who is standing next to Shamim in the photo). She has a ‘waan’ manufacturing business. Waan is a thread-like material used to make a bedstead of a wooden frame on four legs. She offers various types of waan in different colors, and is famous for providing good quality material in her community. Shamim operates the machine at home with the help of her husband. They are contentedly doing it for the sake of her family. She is trying hard to fulfill the needs of her family members. She also sews part-time. In this way, she is able to manage the household more efficiently. It is her third year with Kashf Foundation. She is satisfied with the support of Kashf Foundation. She has applied for a loan of PKR 35,000 to buy a good new machine to make waan into good quality thread to increase her sales. She dreams to renovate her house with the income she earns from her business.
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.