How Kashf Helped My Family during Economic Crisis in Kamalia, Pakistan
Posted on November 16, 2012, by Muneera Bibi, Kashf Foundation
Although the economic situation we faced was tough, life was not too bad. My husband had a small carpet business, and while his income was not high, it was consistent. We managed within our resources. As the economy started to go bad, the demand for carpets dropped. In addition, God continued to bless us with more children. With inflation and more mouths to feed, life became increasingly difficult. Eventually my husband’s carpet business collapsed, and we became virtually penniless. It was at this time that I approached Kashf Foundation for a loan.
Muneera at her storefront in Kamalia, Pakistan.
I had heard about Kashf Foundation from others, but had never felt the need to access the credit. I was afraid at the beginning, but when I saw my household suffering due to the lack of resources, it gave me the courage to come up with a business idea and ask Kashf Foundation for a loan. I had heard many stories of bad treatment at the hands of banks and formal institutions for clients with low-volume transactions. This concerned me because my loan was only around US $100. The staff members at the Kashf office, however, were very nice. They treated me with respect and assessed my business need. They not only gave me the loan, but also gave me advice on what kind of inventory to place at my grocery store.
After my grocery store was set up, we realized that there was a lot of competition in our area. When we learned that there were virtually no stores in the adjoining villages, we took another loan from Kashf Foundation and changed our business model. Now, while we still have a grocery store, we use most of the space inside as a “warehouse,” and my son uses his motorbike to deliver supplies to nearby villages. We supply some direct users and some small-scale shops with our merchandise. Our idea was a success, and we have significantly improved our household income. Moreover, my son, who was previously unemployed due to the lack of job opportunities, is now gainfully employed by my business.
Muneera at her store in Kamalia, Pakistan.
I took my first loan in 2008, and am a returning client to Kashf Foundation. Overtime, Kashf has made Financial Education and Financial Literacy mandatory for us. They have provided training, which have helped us better understand our businesses (especially our cash-flows), and have given us more confidence in making financial decisions. Once or twice a year, we also get the opportunity to enjoy theatre performances that Kashf undertakes in our areas on relevant topics, such as daughters’ education and mainstreaming women in the economy. This has made me more aware of issues that we face. Since I am more knowledgeable now, I don’t blindly take advice, and I question things that I previously accepted as reality.
Muneera Bibi is a client of the Kashf Foundation. For more information on the Kashf Foundation follow them on Facebook and Twitter.