Samiha hails from the village of Hassan Basha, where she attended school until the fifth grade and now works as a chicken farmer to support her husband and four school-aged children. She started with just a few chicks, which she bred, grew, and sold. She carried on this way until she had two wooden cages of chickens, which she sold by her mud brick house to other nearby villagers.
The modest income generated from this venture was her family’s only means of staying clothed and fed. Samiha’s husband suffered from a physical disability, which prevented him from working, and Samiha spent much of her time caring for her husband when she was not tending to the chickens.
Without any additional means to care for the family, Samiha worried that she would have to pull her older children from school in order to work and supplement the family’s earnings. As a result, the family’s financial situation might not have to be so tight, but it would also mean limiting her children’s future prospects, an idea that terrified her.
Removing her children from school to work did not seem viable, so she began to think of ways to expand her business with the chickens. Coming from a small village, the local marketplace was limited by the few number of people living there. She had seen other businessmen pedaling wares between villages on long flat-bed tricycles.
But the purchase of one seemed out of the question for a family that barely made enough to get by.
Fortunately, a HANDS sponsored microloan program helped realize Samiha’s vision for her business. A $500 loan allowed her the opportunity to purchase a motorized tricycle.
The tricycle changed her microenterprise from a local endeavor to one that spanned multiple villages, bringing about transformative growth and increased profits. By expanding her business’ reach, she was able to start selling her chickens in the surrounding area, where she made a name for herself.
Since then, the profitability of her chicken microbusiness has allowed her children to remain in school, and Samiha is able to continue to provide for her husband and children.