Sofia, from the village of Manhary in Upper Egypt, always has a smile on her face despite the difficult life she leads.

Sofia was thrilled to hear about HANDS-sponsored microloans in her community. With her active entrepreneurial spirit, she applied for a microloan and to start her own small business, selling cheese by the kilo.

Once the loan was approved, she used it to buy rennet, milk, and other necessary supplies for cheese-making and, with her profits, was even able to buy a refrigerator for storing the cheese.

With the success of her business, Sofia has become well known in the neighboring villages, where local shopkeepers have started to carry her products. She dreams of expanding her microenterprise into a small factory for dairy products.

While Sofia lives a very simple life herself, she manages to help three families in her village who are less fortunate than her, providing each family a kilo of cheese and half a kilo of milk each month. We love her commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility!

We at HANDS are grateful for the support of our many donors, including companies who include HANDS in their Corporate Social Responsibility, especially Apex International Energy. (You can learn more about them at Their investments are providing life-changing opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs–like Sofia–across Egypt.