Embroidery and vegetable sales might seem like an odd pairing, but for Hafiza and her husband Besmillah, they represent the difference between extreme poverty and being able to provide for your three children.
Hafiza, FINCA Afghanistan client
At 38, Hafiza has become an accomplished embroiderer whose only stumbling block was that she didn’t have the capital she needed to purchase more materials – embroidery cotton and thread, and Charma, a traditional velvet waistcoat worn by Afghan men that she would adorn with intricately patterned gold and silver braid. Besmillah contributed to the family income by selling vegetables in the local Mazzar City market, but his low income made it difficult to compete with others who offered a wider variety of products.
Hafiza decided to join a local FINCA Afghanistan Women’s Murabahah Lending Group and was approved for a transaction of $200. Murabahah financing is compliant with Shariah law, and allows FINCA clients to request that certain goods be purchased for them under a pre-approved and mutually-agreed-upon sales contract that explicitly itemizes the sale of a commodity for cash plus a markup, including administrative costs associated with the transaction. FINCA pioneered this method of financing in Afghanistan when the program was first opened in 2003.
Once her financing was approved, Hafiza designated half the amount for the purchase of additional supplies for her embroidery business, and the other half so that a wider variety of vegetables could be purchased for her husband’s business. Access to the additional capital greatly improved both businesses, and they soon experienced a higher combined rate of income. To their delight, they’re now able to afford to purchase school uniforms and supplies so all of the children can attend school. In addition, they’re able to provide more food and better clothing for the entire family.
So happy are Hafiza and Besmillah with the results from their first experience with FINCA that Hafiza plans to apply for more financing cycles.