Proximity Finance, Myanmar: The closing months of the year were some of the hardest of Myint Myint Htwe's life. In late October, her husband passed away suddenly at their home in Aungban, Shan State, after a short illness. The couple had long harbored hopes of being able to afford to put their children through school. Now, as she was still coming to terms with the loss of her partner, the family's main breadwinner, this dream was under threat.

Seeing her small wage from casual farm labor work would barely be enough to make ends meet, Myint Myint Htwe decided to act. That season, instead of going back to laboring she borrowed money to rent a piece of land and plant a crop of onions.

On the back of a successful first harvest, she managed to raise enough capital to rent another plot nearby and with a low interest 250,000 Kyat (~200 USD) Crop Loan from Proximity Finance, she planted her first crop of white flowers. Now, with two crops of flowers and a crop of onions, she consolidated all her outstanding high-interest loans into one, larger 450,000 Kyat (~350 USD) Crop Loan.

In the next year, Myint Myint Htwe’s eldest son starts his final year of high school. Not so long ago the thought of raising 700,000 Kyat (~550 USD) to send her son to boarding school seemed impossible. Not anymore.

Source: Proximity Finance, Myanmar. www.proximitydesigns.org/