Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) have been playing a vital role in the socio-economic development of a country by providing financial services to those who do not have access to formal financial institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought radical changes to most MFIs of the country, with some reaching unprecedented heights and some struggling to keep operations moving. Dipti Foundation has sought to be seeking out the poorest and analysis of the changing contexts of poverty due to the COVID 19 pandemic of the poor. In addition, DF has been trying to find the way of interventions most appropriate to building social and economic empowerment of the poor people. During any crisis (e.g. natural or other disasters), the MFIs also offer the borrowers a margin of flexibility to deal with predicaments in the form of loan repayment flexibility or access to emergency loans but that duration was not a long period. But the long period of this Covid-19 pandemic has exposed how much the microfinance programs have reshaped the economy and how desperately the poor people need these financial services to sustain their livelihoods.
Case study – 1
Following the ancestral root, the potential time of Kolpona’s childhood and youth has been passed away in the rural area. Koplpona’s poor father gave her marriage with a rickshaw puller named Alauddin. At the beginning of their conjugal life, they had a hard time. They used to pass their days half-fed or sometimes without food. Kolpona counts her days and thinks when the black clouds of poverty will disappear from her life. Kolpona, an ordinary rural woman came to Dhaka city with her husband and children in 2014. Kalpona and her husband Alauddin live in the Mirpur slum area under North City Cooperation of Dhaka city.
After arriving in Dhaka city; Alauddin pulled a rickshaw in Dhaka city to meet the family needs and Kolpona worked as a mid-servant in rich people’s houses. After an accident, Alauddin could not pull the rickshaw and started a small trade as a hawker to sell different household materials in the Dhaka city area. Though the income of Kolpona and Alauddin was small they were maintained their family nicely. But COVID 19 pandemic hit their livelihoods. During the long lockdown period, they could not run their small business and gradually capital money has been used for food. Kalpana and Alauddin were not fed their 5 children properly last few months; because their income source has been stopped and Kolpona lost her job in the middle-income people’s houses as a maidservant. Because even rich people who live near the slum area also have faced problems for the COVID 19 pandemic.
One day Kolpona came to know that Dipti Foundation (DF) one NGO provides loans to the poor women of the slum area in view of improving their livelihoods; who are lost their livelihood by the COVID 19 pandemic situation. Kolpona shared with her husband Alauddin and decided to become a member of DF. After getting a membership, she attended the orientation on the IGA session and received BDT. 20,000 only loan from DF and bought the materials for making footwear/sandals. Kolpona kicks off a new experience in her life. She works 10-12 hours a day making sandals. Besides, her son, daughter & husband also work with her for the production. In one day they produce 200 pairs of footwear/sandals and her husband now got a new job to sell the footwear/ sandal in the market and on the rickshaw van.
Kolpona now earns a profit of Taka 2000-2500 per week by selling the products. Her husband does this job. Kolpona feels proud for being an entrepreneur and get involved with footwear-making works. If Kolpona had the ability to sell her product sitting at a shop, her economic solvency and expectation could be fulfilled. She is optimistic that in near future she would be able to reach her goal by making a whole profit from her labor. For this reason, Kolpona expects more cooperation from Dipti Foundation. After her financial solvency, she can send her child to school again. A proper direction has made their life meaningful and pleasant.
**NB: Dipti Foundation is inviting all, who are interest to work for Kingdom ministry. You may contribute the US $ 250 only as a donation for the help of poor people in Bangladesh, which will help today one person but it will be continued and multiply to help more people every year. So your donation will continue through the DF program in the next years and you may get the news of success stories of the poor. Through the DF program, we served the Lord and sharing His Love to the poor.