Bishnu and her family of 7 live in a small village in the Jhapa region of southeastern Nepal, in the lowlands. The soil in their region can be very fertile and profitable, but Bishnu’s family lost their land to flooding and mudslides 3 years ago. Since that time the only way Bishnu and her husband have been able to provide for their 5 children is through day-labor, akin to American factory workers and farm hands during The Great Depression. They will go to the river and break stones to sell for construction, but they must go each day and work long hours to make a meager amount. At their home they keep a few animals to provide food for their family but are not able to farm the animals for profit because they work long hours breaking stones.
Last year there was a public committee held in their village and Bishnu heard about the small business loans from ServLife and was very motivated to apply. She had heard of loan programs before but knew that most organizations charge a certain amount off the top of the loan. She shared, “With the ServLife loan, I applied for 30,000 rupees (approximately $230) and received that same amount.” When a family receives a loan from ServLife, they receive training beforehand to explore wise uses for the money and help in creating a timely payback schedule. Once they have completed their business plan and submitted the application for their loan, they will join with nine other families in their village to receive these loans. On average, families pay back their loan in 12-18 months and report an average 250% increase in their income after the loan.
After receiving the loan Bishnu and her husband purchased two pigs who were pregnant. They are caring for them and hope that each will produce 7 piglets. The piglets will be sold for approximately 5,000 rupees each and each pig can have 3 farrows a year. Not only does this loan provide a source of income for Bishnu’s family, it also provides hope and the ability to be more present and involved parents which protects their children from roaming or unnecessary dangers. This loan has given Bishnu and her family hope. She shared, “Now we’re able to supply our basic household needs and even have some extra for our children’s education. Once we pay off our first loan, we’re hopeful for another so we can grow our business.”
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