Turkish Mother of 12 Looking to Expand with Microcredit Success
Monday, April 4, 2011
Ay?e Gams?z, a 72-year-old widow and mother of 12, has been struggling to make ends meet by growing vegetables for the past 35 years. Despite the years of hardships, Gams?z, from the northwestern province of Düzce, has succeeded in saving enough money to send four children to university.
Now, however, Gams?z has another reason to be proud after taking home an award in the Personal Struggle Category at the recent Citibank Fourth Microcredit Awards.
“After my husband passed away, I had to take care of my 12 children. In order not to pay for sale stands in village markets, I made sales in the distant, cold areas,” Gams?z said.
Gams?z was able to buy a stand with her microcredit, but in the wake of her most recent success, she has her sights set on a bigger dream: establishing a greenhouse.
The septuagenarian said she has had a difficult life, noting that she gave birth to three of her 12 children at home, cutting the umbilical cord herself because there was no other medical attention available.
As she worked selling produce, however, she was able to save some money. “I sent my children to school with the money I earned from sales and I financially assisted them for their weddings,” she said, adding she felt proud to have four university-graduate children.