Bibirani is a 39-year-old married woman. The man shown in the photo is her husband; Bibirani appears in a veil due to her traditional limitations. She has been growing vegetables with her husband in their back yard for 22 years. Every morning they pluck fresh vegetables and take them to a small shop where they sell them along with some fruit that they purchase from a wholesaler. Recent years have been challenging for the couple as their produce is decreasing at a fast rate and their shop is not making enough sales to support their family of 6 members. Bibirani is a mother of four children, three of whom go to school; but the high cost of education is over-burdening their finances. She has requested a loan of PKR 20,000 from Kashf and wishes to purchase fertilizers and high quality seeds in anticipation of a better yield. Speaking to a loan officer, she said that her eldest son has recently joined them in business and will help improve productivity.
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.