Hamid & Khadeja, Bangladesh
Surviving on approximately $0.78/person/day, Hamid and Khadeja fall into the bottom two-fifths of the world's income distribution tables. Yet, they live intense financial lives. During a year, the family “pushed” $451 of their income into savings, insurance and loan payments, and “pulled” $514 out of savings, or by taking out a loan or guarding money for others. Their total turnover of $965 was, in fact, larger than their annual income of $840. Learn more

Thembi, South Africa
Thembi resided in a low-income township in South Africa; she lived on $169/month. When Thembi's brother died, she was solely responsible for the $1,413 funeral expense budget. Thembi patched together loans from burial societies, relatives, and grants, but fell $92 short. Learn more

Feizal, India
Feizal's ten-member family lives on a household monthly income of $36, largely comprised of his earnings selling aluminum pots and supplemented by his only son's earnings as a tailor's apprentice. Midway through the research year, Feizal fractured his thighbone, terminating the family's main source of income. Learn more

Pumza, South Africa
Pumza supports herself and her four children as a sheep intestine vendor: every day she spends $5 to buy intestines, cooks them on an outside fire, and sells them to passersby. Her daily revenues average about $6-$15. From this amount she must cover the cost of her supplies, as well as feed her family. Her average monthly profit is $95 per month and is supplemented with a government child support grant of $25, putting monthly household income at $120. Learn more

Ramna, Bangladesh
Ramna and her husband are landless. They live on her brother's land with their two school-age sons. Her husband's limited skill-set and poor health means he doesn't have a steady income. Ramna joined Grameen II the year before the researchers met her, and had taken a loan of $83 to buy food stocks in a lean period. She was repaying weekly from a variety of sources, including her husband's sporadic income, interest-free loans from family and neighbors, and her own Grameen II savings account. Learn more

Subir and Mumtaz, Bangladesh
The couple and their five sons live on government-owned land in Dhaka. Their rent-free timber and bamboo hut is lit by a single light bulb, the electricity for which constitutes their only monthly bill. The family falls into the poorer half of the Bangladesh sample. Learn more


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