Dima and her husband were forced to leave their home when she was pregnant. After she delivered her son, they were forced to flee again, each carrying one of their children. This time they left their home country of Syria for Lebanon to seek safety.
In Syria, Dima's husband had a good job. In Lebanon, Dima had to get a job working with makeup and hairstyling in order to help her husband make ends meet.
"In Syria, my husband's work was good. We didn't need to borrow money or take out a loan," Dima explains. "Even if we did, there were many relatives who would have helped us. But here in Lebanon, there is nobody."
Many banks refuse to lend to refugees, assuming they will not be able to repay. But Kiva has been lending to refugees like Dima for years, with a repayment rate above 95%. Dima took out a Kiva loan to purchase an inhaler for her son who suffers from chest pain.
"I hope that we can live in peace and I can educate my children," she says. "Hopefully, we will return to Syria, when there is peace and stability."
You can help fuel hope for refugees who aren't supported by traditional finance by making a loan here.
About the author
Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.