Thank you to each of you who placed a Father’s Day cards for a cause order this year and helped to fund 9 micro loans for these amazing dad entrepreneurs around the world: Ali, Muhannad, Yves, John, Athanase, Jose, Luis, Ion, and Vasile! Also, this year we were able to increase the amount of our microloans and contribute $50 to each one!
My favorite part about these loans is that as they are paid back, the funds can then be re-lent to another entrepreneur. I started funding microloans with Father’s Day cards back in 2013 and so far have been able to lend to 73 dads from 36 different countries! I always look forward to getting to do this each year and learning more about each dad’s story, goals, and dreams.
Please take a moment to learn more about this year’s father entrepreneurs and how you were able to help support their businesses!
Please meet Ali (pictured below, to the left)! He is 44 years old, a husband, father, and refugee and living with his family in Tulkarem, West Bank in Palestine. He is enthusiastic, active, a hard worker, and full of hope and energy. He recently opened a store selling electrical goods to help improve his family’s living standards. This loan will help Ali buy more electrical goods for his store. He thanks all the Kiva lenders for their help in advance.
This is Muhannad (pictured above, to the right), a 46 year old refugee living with his wife and children in Tulkarem, West Bank. He is the sole provider for his family and works hard to support his family. He has a stall for selling tools and home products. This loan will be used to buy new products for his stall which will increase his sales and improve his family’s living standards. Muhannad thanks all the Kiva lenders for their help!
This year I also wanted to learn more about the countries these men are from. Here are some things I learned about Palestine, where Ali and Muhannad currently live:
- The average annual income is $4,900
- 45% of land in the country is dedicated to growing olive trees–many trees are over 1000 years old!
- Maqluba is the national dish of Palestine. It consists of layers of rice, veggies, herbs, spices, and meat (although it can be made without). Maqluba means upside down and this layered dish is turned upside down before serving and garnished with pine nuts or chopped parsley.
- The dead sea is found in Palestine
- Palestine is known for some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the world, including irises, jonquils, and wild poppies.
The fathers I am going to introduce to you next all live and run their businesses in Rwanda.
Yves (pictured below, to the left) is a passionate entrepreneur and runs a grocery store in Mahama refugee camp, one of 6 in Rwanda. He has been living in Rwanda since fleeing violence in Burundi. Since 2015, he has steadily grown his business and now also runs a mobile money business. Yves has successfully paid off his first Kiva loan and is now applying for another to invest in float (electronic credits) to meet the demands of customers and increase his income. His business has helped him provide for his wife and children; he is also able to save for the future of his children so they can live a comfortable life. Yves says his business has changed his and his family’s life.
John (pictured above, to the right) is a father and owner of a mobile transaction business. In 2013, John and his family fled from violence in Congo due to political insecurity and resettled in one of Rwanda’s refugee camps. He quickly started his business to provide for his family and has a good reputation and strong base of loyal customers. John is requesting his loan to help grow his business by adding increasing his product line. This will offer his community more options and also give him the opportunity to build a better life for his family.
Please meet Athanase (pictured above)! He is an entrepreneur, husband, and father of 7 children living in one of Rwanda’s refugee camps. Like Yves, he left Burundi due to insecurity and resurgence of war in his community. He owns a general shop and now operates in over 7 different locations! He has strong business skills and really understands what his neighbors and fellow refugees want. He has successfully paid off a previous loan and is now applying for another to buy more food and supplies for his business to meet his customers’ demands and continue to grow. He hopes to become a business guru so that he can improve life for his family of 9. He has already shown great success in his business!
RWANDA, BURUNDI, CONGO
I wanted to read more about Yves, John, and Athanase home countries as well as Rwanda–these are a few facts I learned:
- Rwanda’s average annual income is $1,700
- Rwanda has the highest representation of women in parliament in the world–over 60% of parliament members are women
- Rwanda government has banned plastic bags/sachets to protect the environment
- Rwanda has introduced the use of drones in medical services like distributing blood to emergency stations
- Burundi runner, Venuste Niyongabo, won a gold medal in 1996 in the 5000 meter race. This was the first time in Olympic history that Burundi won a gold medal.
- Football (soccer) is the national sport of Burundi
- Burundi’s rainforests has housed one of the world’s biggest crocodiles
- Congo is also known as Republic of Congo, Congo Republic, West Congo, and Congo-Brazzaville
- Congo terrain includes plains and basins and a virtually uninhabited jungle in the north.
- The rainforest in the Congo Basin is the second largest in the world and home to many different animals including elephants, chimpanzees, and Mountain Gorillas
This is Jose (pictured below, to the left)! He is 44 years old, lives in San Luis de Since, Colombia, is father to a son, and works in the construction industry. For the past 18 years, he has tried to provide a stable life for himself and his family with his construction finishing business. Jose requested this loan to buy work tools and supplies such as blocks, cement, and sand. This will allow him to improve his sales and be more sustainable.
Luis (pictured above, to the right) lives in Chinu, Colombia, is 64 years old, and is happily married and father to 2 children who are his biggest motivation and inspiration. He is known in his community to be smart, responsible, determined, dedicated, and hardworking. He has a mechanic workshop and wants to be the best and take his business to the next level. He lives in a post-conflict town so it is not easy being an entrepreneur. Many businesses are also affected by the Corona Virus so this loan will help get them through this time. Luis will use his loan to buy glue and vehicle parts to keep his business going. His goal is to make sure his family has a bright future.
These are a few things I found out while reading more about Colombia:
- The annual average income in Colombia is $11,100
- The traditional national support of Colombia is Tejo, a team sport that involves launching objects at a target. The most popular sport is football (soccer). The national team won the 2001 South American Championship.
- Colombia is home to the Cano Cristales, the “River of Five Colors” or “Liquid Rainbow”. The river’s bed changes color between yellow, green, blue, black, and red during the end of July though November. I had never heard of this and had to find a video of it–it is stunning! Click here to head to the video.
- Age is valued in this country. Elders are deeply respected and the older a person gets, the more powerful their voice becomes.
- Bandeja Paisa is Colombia’s national dish and is made up of chorizo, minced meat, red beans, white rice, arepa, tomato-based sauce, fried eggs, fried pork, plantain, and a slice of avocado.
I’d like to introduce you to Ion (pictured below, to the left)! He is 46 years old, lives in Causeni, Moldova, is married, and has a beautiful family. Ion has an auto repair business–currently the first floor of his business provides car repair services and he would like to open a car parts shop on the second floor. He is applying for this loan to repair the room so he can make the shop a reality. Growing his business will help him bring in a better income for a better life.
Please meet Vasile (pictured above, to the right). He is 43 years old and a farmer. He is married with 3 children and lives with his family in Balanesti village in the Nisporeni region of Moldova. Vasile has been a farmer for a long time and grows corn, vines, and vegetables on his land. Part of the production feeds his family and another is sold at the market. He is requesting this loan to purchase seeds and fertilizers for the spring work so he and his family can process their land. This will give him the opportunity to get income to support his famiy.
I’ve heard of Moldova but I know nothing about it so I was excited to do some research. Here are a few facts about this country:
- The annual average income in Moldova is $3,800
- The national dish is Mămăligă , a porridge made out of yellow maize flour. It’s traditionally served as an accompaniment to stews and meat dishes, and is commonly garnished with cottage cheese, sour cream, or pork rind–here is a picture and recipe.
- According to the Guinness World Records, Moldova is home to the world’s largest wine cellar with nearly 2 million bottles of wine at the Mileștii Mici wine cellar.
- When entering someone’s home, it is considered impolite to leave your shoes on.
- Moldova is home to about 300 species of birds
All photos shown above are courtesy of Kiva.org.
I wish all these fathers the very best in their businesses! It is really inspiring to read of what they have already accomplished and I hope these loans help to bring them even more success!
Thank you again to every single person who made these loans possible and I hope all of the special men in your lives enjoyed their cards! I hope you enjoyed learning more about each loan recipient as well as the places where they are from! If you’d like to see all micro loans we have helped to fund since we started doing this, you can find Atiliay’s Kiva Profile here.
And if you feel inspired to make a loan of your own, it is very easy—head to Kiva.org to learn more. (If you do lend, please tell me about your entrepreneur!)
Thank you to each of you who placed a Mother’s Day cards for a cause order this year and helped to fund 7 micro loans for these amazing mom entrepreneurs around the world: Malohat, Kurbonoy, Evelyng Elint, Mygona, San Cayetano Group, Alma Nubia, and Dilbarniso!
I wanted to introduce you to each of these mamapreneurs to you —I hope you’ll take a second to learn more about them and their businesses! I think this is such a cool way to connect and see how much we have in common as well as learn about other parts of the world.
Please meet Malohat from Vose, Tajikistan (pictured below, to the left)! She is 25, is married with one child, and obviously has an awesome sense of fashion and color (I love her outfit!) She is launching her own sewing business and this loan will help her purchase a computerized sewing machine and supplies to get started! She has already rented a space and her first clients will be friends, family, and neighbors. She is an experienced seamstress and is confident her business will be a success because this work is always in demand.
Please also meet Mijgona from Vahdat, Tajikistan (pictured above, to the right)! She is 35 years old and is proud to be a wife and mother. She is a seamstress who works from home and will use this loan to buy more fabric—this will help her expand her business.
I’d like to introduce you to Dilbarniso from Vose, Tajikistan (pictured below, to the left)! She is 42 years old, a wife, and mother. She is described as having an open soul, talented, and hardworking. She has long dreamed of becoming the craftswoman of her area and hopes to do so by operating a sewing business, a trade she really enjoys. This loan will help her purchase a computerized machine to support her business!
This year I also wanted to learn more about the countries these woman are from. Here are some things I learned about Tajikistan, where all 4 of these mothers are from:
This is Kurbonoy from Yavan, Tajikistan (pictured above, to the right)! She is 47 and the mother of 6 children. She currently works in a farm and her husband is a craftsman. In addition to her current job, she would like to start a new sewing business as she knows how to sew and cut. This loan will help her purchase a new and modern sewing machine for her new business. The additional income will help her improve her family’s financial situation.
This year I also wanted to learn more about the countries these woman are from. Here are some things I learned about Tajikistan, where all 4 of these mothers I introduced above are from:
- The average annual income of Tajikistan is $2,700.
- 93% of the landscape is covered in mountains! Here is a link to some photos of this beautiful country.
- One of Tajikistan’s national dishes is rice pilaf, known as Plov. It is made with rice, shredded yellow turnip or carrot, and meat that is fried together. It’s a large communal dish traditionally eaten with your hands. If there is an exchange of Plov, it means I want peace with you, No words are needed, just the simple act of sharing this dish together.
Both of the next two mothers I am going to introduce you to live and run their businesses in Nicaragua.
Evelyng is the optimistic and goal-oriented owner of a small motorcycle shop in Teustepe, Nicaragua (pictured below, to the left). She is 33 years old and a wife to a supportive husband and a mom to two children. She has owned this business for 2 years and wants to turn her shop into a well-established auto parts shop. Her loan will help her buy motorcycle chains, tires, halogens, and ball bearings to help increase sales and earn more income.
Alma is from Nagarote, Nicaragua (pictured above, to the right) and is a hard-woman who has made her living selling new and used clothes on foot for a few years now. She has been doing well and her goal is to have a stand on a heavily-traveled road near her town. Her loan will help her purchase women’s summer clothes to sell. She is the mother of 2 children who are her main motivation.
Every time I read an entrepreneur’s story, it just emphasizes to me how many of the same thoughts and dreams we all share regardless of where we live, where we come from, our culture, etc.–how many of us also want our businesses to thrive so that we can provide better lives for our families? Who else is motivated by their children? How many of us can relate to their goals and share the same characteristics? Some things are just universal and we are connected through them.
Here are some things I learned and found interesting about Nicaragua, Evelyng and Alma’s country:
SAN CAYETANO GROUP
The last micro loan recipient I wanted to share with you is actually a group! The San Cayetano Group is based in Santani, Paraguay. The 14 members are: Justiniana, Lurdes, Liz, María, Manuela, Juana, María, Janina, Eliana, Raquel, Vilma, Isabel, Myrian, and Gladys. They are working together to create better living conditions for their families. Here is a photo of them, along with some of their daughters:
One of the members, Myrian, makes and sells Cleaning Kits for a living. She is hard-working and always looking for ways to improve so that her family can live in better conditions and have everything that they need. This loan will help her purchase supplies to continue making and selling her kits.
These are a few things I found out while reading more about Paraguay:
- The annual average income in Paraguay is $8,400.
- The terrain here is a mix of marshy plains, dry forest, grassy plains and wooded hills
- Capybaras are from Paraguay! They are adorable and are the world’s largest rodent!
- Lace making is a popular traditional craft here. Intricate designs inspired by spiders’ web are made by both men and women. The lace is called Nanduti, which means “spider web” in Guaraní, the official indigenous language.
Thank you again to every single person who made these loans possible and I hope all of the special women in your lives enjoyed their cards! I hope you enjoyed learning more about each loan recipient as well as where each mom entrepreneur is from! If you’d like to see all micro loans we have helped to fund since we started doing this, you can find Atiliay’s Kiva Profile here.
And if you feel inspired to make a loan of your own, it is very easy—head to Kiva.org to learn more. (If you do lend, please tell me about your entrepreneur!)
All photos of the women shown above are courtesy of Kiva.org.
I’m so excited to share some new cards for a cause that are now available in the shop! I’ve been working on updating a few designs and adding some new ones for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Teacher Appreciation Week and here they are:
FOR MOTHER’S DAY: The Love Between a Mother and Daughter/Son Knows No Distance, Best Plant Mom Ever, and You Survived Happy 1st Mother’s Day! All Mother’s Day cards for a cause will help to fund micro-loans for mom entrepreneurs from around the world!
FOR FATHER’S DAY: Happy Pawther’s Day :), You Survived Happy 1st Father’s Day! All Father’s Day cards for a cause will help to fund micro-loans for dad entrepreneurs from around the world!
FOR TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK: Thank You For Helping Me Bloom All Teacher Appreciation cards will provide 10 meals for children at The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool and Nursery in Motherwell, South Africa!
All of these cards for a cause and more are available in my shop, click here to head over and take a look (and don’t forget orders of $35 or more automatically receive free shipping!) I hope you like them and they help you celebrate some very special people in your lives! :)
PS: I’m working on more designs and some brand new products so stay tuned!
This Father’s Day Atiliay was able to fund 11 new microloans for dad entrepreneurs thanks to retail and wholesale cards for a cause orders! Atiliay is a give back paper goods company and every item is paired up with a non-profit–with every purchase a portion of proceeds is donated. For Father’s Day, I wanted to create a way that we could help support fathers around the world. Since 2013, all cards for dads help to fund Kiva microloans that are lent to fathers around the world to help them grow their businesses, follow their dreams, and care for their families. To date, thanks to orders and repayments (when a loan is repaid, the funds are used to support another microloan), a total of 73 loans have been made in 36 different countries!
I wanted to introduce you to the 11 fathers and businesses we were able to support this Father’s Day:
Photos courtesy of Kiva.org
From top to bottom, left to right:
The first 5 fathers I wanted to tell you about all have businesses in the service industry in different parts of the world.
Ali, 31, Nabatieh, Lebanon | Ali is a husband, father of 3, Syrian refugee, and owner of a business specializing in making stone displays and fences for houses. Ali will use this loan to buy supplies needed for his business including wood fencing, vinyl, composite, metal, and chain link wings. He is hardworking and always trying to develop his business and improve his living conditions.
Ismail, 44, Jinja, Uganda | Ismail is a single father of 3 and a businessman operating a tailoring shop at a busy street in his town. He is using this loan to purchase cloth and a generator to help during power outages. In addition to being a tailor, he also owns a video hall in another city and recently started selling soft drinks to those who come to his hall to watch football. Ismail’s wife left (reason unknown) when their youngest child was just 6 months old and since then he has dedicated himself to raising them and working hard so that all his children can attend better schools.
Amos, 43, Kakamega, Kenya | Amos is married to his wife, Robai, and together they have 6 children. He has been operating his motorcycle business for 5 years and earns an average of 9,000 KES a month (about $88 USD). This is the first loan he has applied to and would like to use the funds to enable him to service his motorcycle. With the profits he will earn, he plans to repay his loan and pay school fees for his children.
Sherali, 36, Kulob, Tajikistan | Sherali is married and a father of 3 children. He is described as responsible, capable, honest, and careful, He has run his carpentry business successfully for over 6 years. He manufactures doors, windows, benches, and national Tajik chairs called “cut”. He has many clients and loves his business very much. He plans to use the loan to purchase more wood to increase his income.
Mashaka, early 30s, Lumumba-Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania | Mashaka has a barber shop is the married father of 2 children–1 boy and 1 girl–both of whom attend school. He opened his salon 10 years ago and is open from 8AM-9PM. He is applying for this loan to buy towels, combs, cutting machine, and chairs for his customers. His dream is to continue to grow and expand his business.
These next 3 fathers I’d like you to meet are all in the farming business:
José, Ciudad El Triunfo, El Salvador | José is the father of 2 children and one of them is attending school. He has a life partner who devotes herself to taking care of the household. He studied up to 6th grade and has 22 years of experience doing agricultural work which he learned from his father. José is applying for this loan to buy agricultural supplies to plant grains, pay for labor, and pay rent for the land he cultivates. He dreams of improving his family’s quality of life.
Nexhmedin, 51, Kosovo | Nexhmedin is married with 5 children. He is ambitious and works hard to provide for his family. His main occupation is cultivating wheat and corn to sell at the local market. In order to grow his business, Nexhmedin is requesting a loan to purchase fences for his agricultural land that will help preserve the product he farms. He is thankful to all the Kiva lenders for their support!
Sovan, 29, Batambong, Cambodia | Sovan and his wife are farmers and together they have 3 children. They make a net income of 15 USD per day. He is requesting this loan to help with rice farming. He hopes this will help them expand their yield and improve his family’s life. Sovan loves his family and in the future wants to renovate his house and send all his children to school. Sovan sends thanks to the lenders for their support.
And these final 3 dads we were able to fund loans for are all in retail:
Issaka, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso | Issaka is the father of a 5 year old child and has been a merchant selling shoes for the past 3 years. He is requesting this loan to pay for 8 bags of rubber soled footwear and 10 bags of secondhand shoes. He plans to put what he earns back into the business and to save money to improve his family’s living conditions.
Antando, SIGNOGHIN, Burkina Faso | Antando is married and the father of 9 children–the oldest is 28 and the youngest is 8. 9 children go to school and he has 12 dependents. He has been in the business of selling a variety of merchandise for the past 21 years. With this loan, he plans to buy fifteen 50 kg sacks of kola nuts and ten 100kg sacks of dates to resell. He will reinvest his profits back into his business. Antando’s goal is to become a wholesaler and better educate his children.
Stephen, Thika, Kenya | Stephen is happily married and provides for his family by selling clothes. His business is successful and he is glad he is able to support his family. Stephen is seeking a loan so he can add more fashionable clothes to his shop and attract more customers. His dream is to build a bigger business and support his children.
Thank you again to those of you who made this possible–I am looking forward to funding even more loans next Father’s Day!
This Mother’s Day Atiliay was able to fund 4 new microloans for mom entrepreneurs thanks to retail and wholesale cards for a cause orders! In case this is the first time you are learning about how Atiliay gives back, every item is paired up with a non-profit and with every purchase a portion of proceeds is donated. For Mother’s Day, I wanted to create a way for me and my customers to help moms around the world. Since 2017, all cards for moms help to fund Kiva microloans that are lent to mamapreneurs around the world to help them grow their businesses, reach their goals, and provide for their families. You can learn more about how the loans work in this Instagram post. To date, thanks to orders and repayments (when a loan is repaid, the funds are used to support another microloan), a total of 26 loans have been made in 15 different countries! I wanted to introduce you to the 4 mothers and businesses we were able to support this Mother’s Day:
Photos courtesy of Kiva.org
From top to bottom, left to right:
Catherine is a mother of 2 (one of her little ones joined her for this photo :)) and has a banana farm in Maua, Kenya. She requested a loan to purchase high quality seeds and fertilizer to improve her crops to keep up with modern techniques of farming. Using these items will help her increase her crop and increase her profit. Catherine works hard so that she can support her family and children and create a better life for them.
Parvina is 36 years old and married with 2 children. She lives in Sarband, Tajikistan with her family. She is a seamstress of women’s clothes, national pillowcases, and bed sheets. These items are very popular and fashionable in Tajikistan–especially with brides who order the embroidered pillowcases and bed sheets. Parvina is using her loan to to buy fabrics for making embroidered pillowcases as they are a very profitable item at the market.
Erlina lives in Ajuy, Iloilo, Philippines with her husband and 4 children who are between the ages of 2 and 17. Erlina and her husband have been in the business of selling scrap materials for the past 8 years. She will be using this loan to buy more empty bottles, plastics, iron, and steel. Her dream is for her children to finish their studies and hopes to improve her business to help support her children’s education.
Faaleleiga is 22 years old and lives in Faleasiu, Samoa with her 2 children and husband. She makes and sells Elei, a type of beautiful printed fabric, to earn a living. Faaleleiga will be using the loan to buy material, fabric paint, stencils, brushes, rollers, wooden carved designs, and a new cutter. She has had her Elei business for the past 2 years and uses her profits to pay for her family’s weekly expenses.
I hope you enjoyed reading more about each of these mom entrepreneurs and learning about how Atiliay’s Mother’s Day cards for a card give back–and if you purchased a mom’s day card, you are the reason this is possible, THANK YOU!
PS: Father’s Day is coming up and those cards for a cause help to fund Kiva microloans for dad entrepreneurs! Stay tuned to read more about that and the fathers we are able to support!
All love and Valentine’s Day cards help to provide meals for The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool & Nursery–today I wanted to share with you 5 facts about who they are and how the donations work!
1) The EEC is a home-based preschool and nursery in Motherwell, South Africa. Motherwell is a large and poverty-stricken township on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.
2) The EEC was founded and run by an amazing woman named Gladys Zenani who I believe recently turned 70 (she is pictured in the photo above)! She created the school so that parents who need to travel far for work or to look for work have a safe place they could take their children. She has 3 ladies who help her: Fiziwe Majola, Nomfundo Minnie, and Sibongile Mpupa.
3) Most children stay with Gladys from 5AM to 5PM. They receive breakfast and lunch at The EEC and these are the meals Atiliay is committed to providing. The meals consist of a specially formulated porridge which consists of cooked maize, soy, 26 vitamins, minerals and amino acids, carbs, fiber, and cereal fats that work to maximize nutrient intake on a daily basis. It has the nutritional density 29 times that of refined maize which is the staple diet there.
4) I sponsor the EEC through Food4Africa whom I met in South Africa in 2007. This is how it works: I make the donation online to F4A. 100% of the donation is used to provide food for The EEC. A Food4Africa volunteer delivers the food to the school. The awesome volunteer and my contact for The EEC is Byron from Miracle Meals Trust–he is also the one who emails me photos and updates!
5) #Cardsforacause provide between 5-10 meals each depending on the design and each workshop seat provides 20 meals. Together we have provided 140,000 meals to date–and counting!