Working For More Than Peanuts

Monira was in a tough spot. Her husband had been injured and could not work. As a day laborer, he had barely earned enough for them to survive, and now all hope seemed to be lost.

In Monira’s village, destitute families are often forced to sell themselves or their children in the human trafficking rings. The prospect of selling one’s children to survive is unimaginable, but it loomed over Monira and her family as they had no way out. But she soon discovered another option – growing peanuts with her own small business.

Monira sought out a micro-loan from GFM’s branch in her village. All of the local family farms were growing rice, and so had she in the past. She applied for a loan but was surprised when the loan officer suggested that she grow peanuts instead. Since everyone in the region was cultivating rice, the market was flooded with a surplus, driving the prices down. Rice farmers had so much product, but they could not sell any to make a profit. However, peanuts were not being grown anywhere nearby, and the market was untapped.

With a new micro-loan and help from our branch to prepare her farm for this new crop, Monira and a group women became the first peanut farmers in the region. GFM workers came alongside her through the whole process, helping to cultivate an entirely new agricultural industry for her area.

Women in rural villages like Monira’s are mostly uneducated, only 1 in 10 can read or write. Because of their low social status, they and their children are the most vulnerable to human trafficking and are a particularly marginalized and neglected in these regions. GFM purposefully seeks to help women and their families to overcome poverty.

In 2017, GFM gave 10,303 micro-loans to entrepreneurs like Monira. Over 90% of the loans we issue are given to women to start a small business. Empowering women entrepreneurs changes everything in their families, villages, and regions. With this new income, women and their children are breaking free from human trafficking.

Monira’s peanut farm has changed everything for her family too. Through her first harvest, she was able to repay her micro-loan and had startup funds to plant and expand her crop for the next year. She was able to provide for her family, and her husband has since returned to work. Along with the micro-loan she received, Monira’s two children were also able to attend one of GFM’s free primary schools, changing their future forever.

GFM comes alongside women and their families to empower them to start businesses and receive an education. Through our economic development and education programs, you can partner with us to change the futures of thousands of families. Join with us to empower women like Monira to overcome human trafficking and experience holistic transformation.

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