In this time of global health concerns, we all need to hear encouraging stories occasionally. This is an account of a multi-generational Egyptian household trying to support itself in a time of hardship with a little help from generous HANDS donors.  

Mary, from the village of Rida in the Minya governorate, is married to a carpenter. Not only is the couple responsible for meeting the needs of their children but also of the husband’s aging parents, with whom they live. As this became more difficult to accomplish on one salary, Mary was eager to help support her family.  

To do this, Mary thought of starting her own microenterprise. Hearing of HANDS-sponsored loans available in her community, she applied to start a home-based business, selling bird fodder (food for chicken and ducks, such as wheat and small seeds of corn).  

In the beginning, Mary faced a lot of challenges due to her lack of business experience. She considered stopping the project but forged ahead, driven by her family’s need for extra income and by the business coaching she received from staff at HANDS’ local partner organization. Thanks to her perseverance, Mary eventually managed to establish a thriving bird fodder business in her village.  

Her business growth didn’t stop there. This experience encouraged her to start another microenterprise: a hole-in-the-wall grocery store.  

Whenever our local partners check in with Mary, she tells them of her joy regarding her family’s financial stability and of her pride in being a businesswoman, who can contribute to supporting her multi-generational household. 

We at HANDS are inspired by the stories of entrepreneurial Egyptians, like Mary, and hope you are, too! Thank you for your generosity, which is making an impact on households, like Mary’s, across Egypt!