Incofin cvso invests USD 5 million in Kashf, Pakistan
Incofin cvso disbursed a USD 5 milion loan to Kashf Foundation, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Pakistan that aims to alleviate poverty by providing affordable financial and non-financial services to low income households, especially to women, in order to build their entrepreneurial capacities and enhance their standard of living. The credit program is complemented by services such as financial education, gender empowerment and health awareness trainings.
Established in 1996, Kashf was the first MFI to prove that it is possible to employ a successful women-centric business model in Pakistan. Kashf currently has over 360,000 clients, of which 99.9% are women. 50% of these loans are utilized by women-headed businesses. The MFI has a wide network with 261 branches in 4 regions of Pakistan.
In 2012, Kashf launched “School Sarmava”, a loan provided to low-cost private schools to improve the quality of instruction in the education sector. Low-cost private schools account for over 30% of total school enrolment in Pakistan. With these funds, the schools can improve infrastructure, buy much needed materials, and provide financial education for students and trainings for teachers. These trainings help to improve teaching style, class-room management, and planning, but also to prepare teachers on child safeguarding and well-being, in order to help them prevent child sexual abuse and ensure a safer environment for students. This is especially important given the increase in numbers of reported cases of child sexual abuse in the country.
Thus far, Kashf’s “School Sarmava” program has impacted a total of 800,000 students through 3,520 schools in 43 different districts. The potential for growth remains large since the public education sector is severely underfunded. Over 25 million children are not in school, of which two-third are girls. With the upgrades provided by the Kashf “School Sarmava”, the schools have experienced an increase in enrolment of 71%, with an average increase of 28 children per school.