Leila E - enda

For the release following Shamim D, our Marie we're highlighting is an enda borrower, Leila Gharbi. This release will be code-named, Leila E. Leila Gharbi (Leila E)

Leila, enda inter-arabe client, 44 years old and lives in Bizerte

On July 15th, 2009, enda inter-arabe granted their 500,000th loan. After digging into their MIFOS information system to find out who was the lucky number 500,000, we discovered Mrs. Leila Gharbi. 

Leila was born in Zarzouna, Bizerte (in Northern Tunisia) in 1965 where she attended the local school until she was 17 years old when she met Lotfi, a ship captain. They soon married and had three children within the following few years. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when her husband lost his job. Frustrated and lacking self-confidence and motivation, her husband gave up. Leila, with her optimistic and determined attitude, tried to encourage him, but their different perspectives caused them to fight constantly. They then decided to get a divorce and Leila now lives far from Lotfi, but always surrounded by her three children.

Leila has a hairdresser’s certificate and she had opened a neighborhood salon before her divorce, but it had not been in use for awhile. After her divorce, with three young children to support, Leila knew that she needed to find a way to make a steady income and to do that, she would need to jumpstart her salon. Thanks to the advice of a friend, Leila found enda in 2007, and was happy to get a loan for a small amount that would not be burdensome and that would not require guarantees that she did not have.    

Leila Gharbi and FamilyLeila jumped at this chance and within a week, she received her first loan of $348 as part of a group loan with two other women. She used this first loan to improve her salon by buying mirrors, hair dryers, and other necessary items. After a few months, Leila had repaid her loan and taken out a second and third… today she is on her 6th loan cycle with a loan of $1200.

Throughout these last two and a half years, Leila has managed to decorate her salon, attract new clients, and most importantly, has been able to meet the needs of her children, improve her project and has started to save money (almost $2000) which she hopes to use to buy a home. With the help and advice of enda, Leila is also hoping to move her business to a better location.

Despite difficult moments in her past, Leila has found honourable success. And most importantly, her children show that they are proud of her every day.