Celebrate the Hard-working People All Around Us

Niaz Patwary, KF25 in India

I take great joy in introducing these hardworking movers and shakers from the fields of Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India:
(Clearly, each name needed a separate line and a punctuation mark to hold the positive energy they radiate!) All of these ladies are multitasking maestros - keeping the home-front well-ordered, running the goat farms even smoother.

These self-starters are trailblazers in their respective communities as they are the first ones to take the leap of faith of women empowerment; they borrowed seed funding as little as $150 from Kiva to procure goats and sheep. With parent-like caring, they raised their "poor man's cows" for three months and sold them in the marketplace by themselves - which, by the way, is not a common practice in a male-dominated rural setting. They paid back the initial loans, invested in their children's education and also bought more goats to raise and replicate the whole model.

Without getting into the technicalities of stock raising, let me just say that the heat in the field made me realize a fraction of the daily struggle each of them goes through, nonetheless, with a smiling countenance. As the boss rapper Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z proclaims: it is - in fact- "a hard knock life." However, these goat-rearing meadow-dynamos make it look like a walk in the park.


Caroline Dorr, KF25 in Timor-Leste

When I met Ana, she was standing under a shady tree on one of Atauro's pristine beaches, displaying her jewelry on a piece of driftwood. Ana lives on Atauro Island, a small island off the coast of Timor-Leste. She designs handmade jewelry out of shells, fish bones, and seeds. When describing the process of jewelry making, Ana said that it often takes hours to cut and sand the raw materials in order to create wearable jewelry. Although it's difficult work, Ana is a pro! She said she has been making jewelry her entire life. She uses the profits from her business to support her ten children who live on Atauro Island with her.

Mariana, KF25 in Mozambique

For the past 4 years, Victor travels almost every week to Maputo City, 100 miles on dirt roads, to get merchandize for his stall in Ponta d’Ouro (feature in this picture). He works hard to fulfill his dream of having his own house. With the help of Kiva lenders and Hluvuku-Adsema, Victor was already able to buy building materials and stepping closer to see his dream come true.

Vince Main, KF25 in Azerbaijan

This is Fariz a hard working and enterprising young man from Imishli in Azerbaijan. Fariz left school at 14 to get a job to help support the family income. He started working with his sister's husband who showed him how to made make windows. Thanks in part to a loan from Kiva, Fariz now rents premises and has his own business. He is married but lives at home where he supports his mum who was recently widowed. This is a real working hero.

Shannon Kossick, KF25 in Ghana

Shown here are two shea nut processors from the Northern Region of Ghana. They are each in groups of about 30 women who have agreed to collectively take out a loan with one of Kiva's field partners, Grameen Ghana. The women in these groups form solidarity between them by encouraging one another, sometimes engaging in compulsory savings and always working toward common goals: to utilize the loan to earn profits in order to improve the livelihoods of their families as well as to repay their loan in order to take another in the future. For these two women in particular, there are 10 dependent children between them. Consider how many children are to be counted between 30 women...

These Kiva borrowers lent me a smile as they were telling me how thankful they are for the Kiva community that lends to them...Now I just need to figure out how to repay them.

About the author

Margo Brookfield

Margo was born and raised a Midwestern girl from Kansas City. She recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a major in International Studies focusing in comparative development in Francophone Africa, and has studied both French and Spanish in college. Last year she studied social pluralism and development with the School for International Training in Cameroon, focusing her thesis research on the impacts of education on Muslim girls in the northern city of Ngaoundéré. Margo has been a big supporter of Kiva for a number of years and is very excited to finally put all of her studies in development into practice and work to affect positive change in the world. In her spare time you can find her hiking, baking, reading a good book, spending time with her family (including her six nieces and nephews), or planning her next big adventure!