Video and photos by Kiva Fellow Liz Fish

Meerim’s Story: Paving the way for her sisters in Kyrgyzstan

This story is part of Kiva’s International Women’s Day Campaign. Through March 8th, we’ll be sharing inspiring stories of women borrowers. You can back a woman entrepreneur today by visiting kiva.org.

Millions of young women and girls around the world are denied the right to get an education, and denied the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Cultural norms, shortages of teachers and the costs of tuition and books all contribute to keeping 63 million girls out of primary and secondary school.

But there are also stories of hope — stories like Meerim, who has lived her entire life in Kyrgyzstan, a country stricken with political instability and high rates of poverty.

Her life was forever changed by 41 strangers from 15 countries through Kiva.org. See how her story unfolds.

Through her struggles, Meerim has held fast to her dream of getting an education and being a role model to her younger sisters.

“I want be a good example for my sisters… showing them if you study you will create your future.”

Meerim is pursuing her dream of diplomacy, to introduce her country and everything she loves about it to other nations around the world. At the same time, she’s an ambassador for all girls who dream to follow in her footsteps someday.

“I think in my future I will become a politician, because it was my dream from my childhood and why not, because I have opportunity, I have a Kiva loan to study in AUCA. So I have chance to — make real my dreams.”

Support a student like Meerim at kiva.org.