Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kiva: Azra, Nazreen, Sharifan and Zaitoon/ Inauguration Day

Almost a year ago, I undertook my first Kiva loan, to Moriya Nabieva who sells fabric in a Tajikistan market, in Yavan.  It's now paid back; and in the intervening year, I've undertaken seven more Kiva loans.  Facilitated by the internet, fuelled by the imagination of an American couple who said, why not?, this forum for microfinance is a remarkable venture.  I wrote on my Kiva profile back then that this is a great adventure, and it remains so.

Having woken at 3.30am to watch the inauguration of the 44th American president, Barack Obama, live on television (yes, before-sunrise early!), I figured the best way to celebrate was to take neighbourhood action.  Not here in my own community, but the wider community, give something from the opportunities we have here so others have opportunities too.

So my ninth Kiva loan is undertaken today.  Here's more information about Azra and her group:

My name is Azra. I am 49 years old and married. I live in a city named Borewala, Pakistan. I own a two room brick house in the city where I have lived for the past 25 years. My husband's name is Ibrar Hussain. He is a driver by profession. He drives an auto-rickshaw (a local three-wheeled motor vehicle) and has 15 years of experience. I am a mother of six children: three sons and three daughters. My eldest son is an electrician. My middle son works in an office. My youngest son reads in 2nd standard. My eldest daughter reads in 3rd standard. My middle daughter reads in 2nd standard. My youngest daughter reads in kindergarten.

It’s my wish to give my children a good education, because I truly believe that education is the key to success. If a person takes advantage of education they can achieve their goals. To achieve my wish, I earn money with the skill of sewing clothes. I get orders from my relatives and my neighbors. I have used the income to pay the school expenses for my children.
I am applying for a loan to buy repair tools for my eldest son, so that he is able to repair electrical items easily.
I am a group leader of some women in my locality. Nasreen akhtar baji wants a loan to buy wood to resell. Sharifan baji wants a loan to buy cosmetics to resell. Zaitoon baji wants a loan to buy groceries for her grocery shop.
This is a group loan. The loan funds will be distributed among the group members, each of whom will invest in their own business. The members mutually guarantee each other's loans. If one member does not repay, the other members are responsible.
I'm not American, but the principles of Barack Obama's inauguration speech hold true whichever country you are in.

Barack, live on Australian television, very early in the morning
We have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly.
What could you do?  This loan was fully funded within the time it's taken me to write this blog entry, but there are new loan opportunities on Kiva every hour, every day.
PS he mentioned patchwork in his speech.  We don't just have a great craft, but it's also a compelling metaphor.  Did he knit anything, or sculpt or fashion or plane or sew or scrap?  Nooooo!  Patchwork! she says with a triumphant grin.


1 comment:

Quiltycat said...

Yes the use of the word "patchwork" jumped out at me when I read the text of his speech. I wasn't as good as you to get up that early. I had an appointment later in the day that I needed to be alert for. C