She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Bithi and her husband left their families in rural Bangladesh and moved to the over-crowded city of Dhaka—home to 5 million people—in search of a better life. The only work they could find was in a garment factory, earning meager wages. The couple rented a small, one-room home in a slum near the garment factory.
Thousands of Dhaka residents, desperate for work, accept low-paying—and often dangerous jobs in garment factories. Others work as rickshaw pullers or day laborers.
The couple was barely surviving when Bithi became pregnant. She gave birth to a little girl named Jannath, which means “heaven.” Bithi was referred to a World Concern clinic so Jannath could receive immunizations. During her visit to the clinic, doctors discovered that Jannath had a hole in her heart. The family was referred to a local hospital where their daughter received treatment.
As Jannath grew, Bithi visited the clinic regularly for checkups. She built a relationship with the staff there, who support and encourage her to keep her daughter healthy. But they also noticed that Bithi was struggling emotionally and financially. Her husband blamed her for Jannath’s health problems. And their daughter was often left in the care of others so that Bithi could work at the garment factory.
Realizing that Bithi needed a better income to afford treatment for her daughter’s heart condition and to support herself and her family, the staff recommended her for a World Concern microloan. With Bithi’s first loan of $270, she was able to quit her job at the garment factory and start her own business as a seamstress.
She’s now able to care for her daughter full-time, and has hope for a better future, beyond grinding poverty and exhausting, long hours in the factory.
World Concern microloans help thousands of women like Bithi transform their lives by starting their own businesses. Women who are helped through our microcredit program are provided with loans, training on how to profit from a business and ethical business practices, and ongoing support to grow their businesses – even hiring more women who need to earn income safely.
A microloan made a macro difference in Damas Louis’s life. The 34-year-old lives in Les Cayes, a town on Haiti’s southern coast. Life is tough here, and most people struggle to survive in a city plagued by poverty, unemployment and lack of infrastructure. Before receiving a loan, Damas scraped together a living by selling snacks and drinks in a tiny shop on an unpaved street.
“I wasn’t able to afford the things my customers wanted to buy, so they would go elsewhere,” he said.
With credit and support from a World Concern microloan, Damas was able to buy a refrigerator and additional inventory to sell, including cosmetic products. His business has nearly quadrupled, from about $24 in sales per day to $93 a day.
Things are definitely improving for Damas, who recently got married and is expecting his first child. He has ambitions to increase his income, eventually renting a larger space closer to a market and expanding his business even further.