Behind the Cover: Rashid Ali and His Family

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Rashid Ali and his children were featured on the cover of the 2016 FINCA Annual Report. Rashid Ali, a factory owner in Pakistan, received FINCA’s microfinance loans to expand his brush business. Learn more about the 1.6 million people FINCA served in 2016 in our Annual Report.

Rashid Ali grew up in a very poor household where his father struggled to support the family. Even though he was a good student, Rashid decided to drop out of school and help his father. He sacrificed his own chance at an education so that his younger siblings could stay in school. He began working at a local power loom in Pakistan’s vast textile industry and, within a short time, he became a factory foreman.

Then in 1996, his eyesight began to fail. Doctors were unable to treat his condition.  Rashid became legally blind which forced him to resign from the factory to focus on his medical care.

For the next six years, Rashid and his family struggled to adjust to the new reality of his blindness. Then, he heard about a plant in his neighborhood that manufactured specialty wire brushes used in the construction trade. The owner of the factory agreed to hire Rashid despite his blindness. With a little extra training, he was able to do the job.

The job gave me a sense of hope.

With this renewed hope, Rashid’s confidence had grown to the point that he realized he could have his own brush factory.

With the help of FINCA’s loans, Rashid’s dream came true. He has steadily expanded his brush factory, acquiring more machines, hiring workers and selling more products. Today, he has created multiple jobs for others in his community. Rashid is also a proud breadwinner for his family again, supporting his young children’s aspirations for a brighter future.