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Microcredit Case Study: FINCA Kosovo client Rrahim Gegaj
Category: Microcredit | By CMC-2011, 12-Sep-2011 | Viewed 3036  Comments 0
Mr. Rrahim Gegaj

"After the war, there was nothing left. Everything was destroyed and burned."

One of the distinguished speakers of this year's Calgary Microcredit Conference, Rupert Scofield, President and CEO of FINCA International, has shared this this success story of a microcredit recipient in Kosovo - we thought we'd share it with the Rotarian community.

Mr. Rrahim Gegaj is a 50 year old Albanian living in the village of Lladroc. He is the head of a 15-person household with four sons. Their village of Lladroc is located in the Malisheve municipality in central Kosovo, an area that was devastated during the Kosovo War of 1998-1999. When the conflict began, his family joined the tide of refugees fleeing to refugee camps in Albania. When his family returned after the war, they found their home and his business were burnt and destroyed.

In the hopes of recovering from this financial disaster, Rrahim decided to apply for a loan from the FINCA Kosovo program at the newly opened Malisheve branch. He joined a solidarity credit group that went by the name of Pavarsia ("Independence").

With the initial small loan he purchased a key copying machine, with which he began a small business. Over time, he found success and he was able purchase more equipment and inventory. Today, he is running a business from his kiosk and offering several services to his customers. 
To further expand his business, Rrahim applied for yet another FINCA loan to purchase a mini-bus to offer regular transportation for travelers between Malisheve and his village of Lladroc. Now, Rrahim owns a bus, which you can sometimes find parked in front of the key copying shop, when it isn't on the Lladroc/Malisheve road.

Rrahim Gegaj is currently on his 15th loan cycle with FINCA. His loan today is a 2700 individual loan, far from his original Pavarsia group loan. Through Rrahim's hard work and determination, and with the help of FINCA loans, the Gegaj family has been employed and enjoys modest prosperity.

He credits FINCA for helping his family survive their crisis and recover during these past ten years of peace. He says:

"After the war, there was nothing left. Everything was destroyed and burned. FINCA was the first to come and offer me a loan. Thanks to their loans, I have been able to start and improve my business, so that I could renovate my home and keep a roof over my family's head. I hope FINCA will stay with us for the next 100 years."
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