In commemoration of the new academic year, the AUAF Community Service Club (CSC) successfully implemented their project "Microfinance for Poverty Reduction (MPR) – A Lifeline for Underprivileged Families”. Inspired by the very concept of microfinance, CSC spearheaded this volunteer project in spring 2015.
The core objective behind implementing this project was to empower underprivileged families by starting a small business in a portable fruit cart. The long-term vision included the empowerment of heads of some of the identified underprivileged families by helping them make money through portable fruit cart sales in order for their children to go to school and avoid working in the streets.
Funds received from the annual club budget went towards the installation of three portable carts and purchase of goods for three families. For each family, CSC spent $130 for installing the carts, $25 to purchase a complete set of scale and weights, and $95 to purchase goods.
“Now that the beneficiaries have successfully started their businesses, we are working as a team to measure the impact of this project by keeping an accurate record of their progress and comparing the collected figures against the actual capital which was initially invested as a part of their carts in the forms of goods." said Mohammad Tawab Ali, President of CSC. “It is our top priority to make sure that the beneficiaries are guided, if they require any further training or consultation regarding sales, savings, and long-term investment plans."
Selected families started different types of businesses on their carts, including selling vegetables, children toys, and second-hand clothes in designated markets. With the help of committed members of CSC, who proved to be a tremendous help in making this project a true success, project beneficiaries successfully started their businesses and received necessary business management skills to become self-sufficient with a sustainable business in place.
"I really admire the club members' passion for helping the poor, and we, the AUAF administration, will continue supporting the MPR project to reach out to more underprivileged families." Said Mohammad Javad Ahmadi, Director of Student Affairs Office