| Jan 18, 2024
Beyond Transactions: ATMs can improve a woman's self-confidence!
Mona withdrawing cash from the ATM
In Egypt, widowed women, especially those lacking education, struggle with managing their families’ finances. They became reliant on their relative’s assistance, and they lose the power to make decisions for their children.
Mona, was one of those widows. She was highly dependent on her brother for even the simplest things like withdrawing cash from the ATM machine. But her life changed after she enrolled in Baseeta initiative. Here is what Mona told us about her journey of transformation:
“I live with my three children in a small village in the south of Egypt. I became a widow at the age of 40 when I lost my husband two years ago. I was overwhelmed with the challenges that followed my husband’s death. I had no stable income, and I didn’t know how to manage my family’s expenses. I depended on my brother for getting things done for me. I even used to wait for him to withdraw my government pension at his convenience because I was very intimidated to use the ATM machine. I was so scared to press any button by mistake and lose my money. I felt I was good for nothing”.
Mona always thought of herself as weak and incapable of leading her family. Luckily, she enrolled in Coptic Orphans’ initiative “Baseeta,” aimed at financially empowering 8000 female-headed households across Egypt. Through Baseeta, Mona learnt to make a budget for her family, and set priorities for their expenses. She also learned to use the ATM to get her money at Her convenience.
“I was nervous the first time I tried to get money from the machine [ATM]. But I decided to try when I saw my neighbor, the school headmistress, withdrawing money from the machine next to me. I applied the steps I learnt, and my heart was racing with every press of a button in the keyboard. I didn’t believe my eyes when I saw the money coming out. When I caught the money with my hands, I felt as capable as the school headmistress,” Mona said. Furthermore, being excited and proud of herself, she told her brother and her friends, “I got my pension from the machine [ATM] all by myself.”
Baseeta’s experience was revolutionary for Mona because it put her back in the driver’s seat of her family. Baseeta made Mona feel as independent as her peers, and not left behind.
Thank you for collaborating with us to empower Mona and more widowed women in Egypt to lead their families and exercise their autonomy. Your support helps us facilitate access to banking services for widowed mothers and include them in the global financial system.