During these challenging times of global pandemic, we hope that heart-warming stories from the beneficiaries of your generosity provide some encouragement. Today we share one such story—that of Soaad. 
Soaad is a 61-year-old Egyptian woman from the Beni Suef governorate in central Egypt.  She is a widow with two grown children, the older of whom has severe health problems that impede him from working. As the primary provider for her family, she realized that she needed to find another source of income to supplement her small pension.

At an age when many consider retiring, Soaad was just starting her career. 
She faced numerous challenges in finding employment because of her lack of professional experience and inability to qualify for a traditional bank loan to launch her own small business. Soaad decided to face her fears, applying for a microloan of $190 from one of HANDS’ local partner agencies. With this loan, she was able to purchase her first set of chickens and start a small poultry farm.  After she paid off the first microloan, she applied for a second one for $320 and, later, a third one for $500 to continue building her small business.

Throughout her journey, Soaad has experienced several setbacks, like the year that the Bird Flu decimated her brood. However, these struggles never wiped the smile off her face for long. Soaad overcame her obstacles and has built a successful microenterprise that supports her and her household. Soaad’s story would not have been possible without the generosity of HANDS’ supporters, including Care with Love, one of our corporate sponsors. Thank you to Care with Love and all our partners, who ensure that life-changing stories like Soaad’s continue taking place across Egypt.