Niaz Patwary, KF25 in India
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
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.