Noor Zia was devastated when she lost her job. The mother of five children worried that without a steady income between her and her husband, they couldn’t meet their daily expenses. She also worried about her children’s future.
Noor is like millions of other women around the world, who because of circumstances, legal restrictions or culture, are stuck living unproductive lives. Without a job or salary, many women like Noor live day-to-day struggling, trapped in a cycle of poverty.
Noor had dreams for herself and her family. While her husband searched for a job, Noor decided to start a small salon in her home in Kabul, Afghanistan. She used what limited savings she had to purchase cosmetics for her salon. But it wasn’t enough. When she heard that FINCA’s small loans that could help businesses like hers, she jumped at the opportunity. With an initial loan of just $100, she purchased more cosmetics and inventory for her salon. As more customers flocked to her home, Noor began to maintain a steady income.
By increasing earnings and savings, financial services allow poor mothers and fathers to make the transformation from every-day survival to planning for the future. Parents are able to pay for their children’s tuition, better their living conditions, and seek out and pay for health care services, as they are needed.
Noor is also a catalyst for change in her own community. After several years, Noor opened a beauty salon in the market. Since opening her small salon, she has trained over 70 women in her community, an achievement she considers to be her best yet. With their new skills and talents, these 70 women have the opportunity to live productive lives as well.
Noor is not done dreaming. Her next goal is to rent a larger beauty salon. She also continues to help others in her community by counseling small business owners on successful business practices.
Being productive is one of the ways women like Noor Zia can remain unstoppable. She now has the ability to provide for her family and create new economic opportunities for other women in her community.
You could be unbanked, too.
FINCA recently launched a new campaign, the Unstoppable Campaign, to showcase how FINCA transforms the lives of unbanked people around the world. It is also an opportunity for you to get a glimpse, first-hand, what it is like to feel “unbanked.”
Head to IamUnbanked.org, watch our latest campaign video and join the Unbanked Challenge, where you’ll pledge to spend one day or more without using credit and debit cards, ATMs, payment apps, checking and savings accounts, and with no online access to your money. You’ll only use the cash in your wallet to understand what it would be like to be unbanked. Don’t forget to share your experiences on social media with the hashtag #IamUnbanked.