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Triumph Against Poverty: A Story of a Poor Housewife

I’ve visited a number of projects where ADRA Bangladesh is operating its different types of activities to empower women in our society. I’ve seen the endeavor that ADRA Bangladesh has to encourage women to come forward and take initiatives so they can bring significant changes in their life. Ismot Ara is one of them.

“I had a deep interest in education from the childhood,” said the 31-year-old Ismot who lives at Thamish Para of Fulbaria Upazilla in Mymensingh district with her husband. “I was seeking for an opportunity to learn how to read and write,” added the poor housewife.

Since Ismot was desperate to receive her fundamental education, she knew that education is inevitable. Thus, she arranged education for her children so they do not need to suffer for it. “I want to educate my children, I want to make them happy and not to struggle for education,” said Ismot having a dream in her eyes.

“I was seized with infinities. Life became hard to cope with. We had to live in a very tiny hut made of mud and bamboo with a tin shed roof which remains soggy most of the time. It was completely unhygienic and ineligible to live during the rainy season,” explained Ismot with frustration.

It was not possible to fulfil the basic demands of her children for the helpless housewife as she was not financially able to support her family. “It was very arduous for me to bear the educational expenses of my children” said Ismot. Sometimes, her elder daughter regrets too much for their plight. Ismot could not tolerate anymore, to see her family members remain upset thinking of how they could get rid of this dilemma. “My husband doesn’t know how to use modern technology for cultivation as he is illiterate,” said Ismot sorrowfully. The poor housewife was fighting and kept searching the way so she could earn money in order to support her family. Day after day, she was drowning in despair.

“I came to know about ADRA from the community development officer back in 2015 when they were inaugurating their work at Balian Union, Fulbaira Upozilla, in Mymensingh”, said Ismot on how she discovered ADRA. “I used to participate myself into general awareness sessions and observed ADRA’s activities which grew new hopes in my mind,” added Ismot.

“After a couple of months, I noticed that ADRA Bangladesh is doing something different (build up the capacity through different trainings, cross visits, awareness session) which attracted and motivated me to get enrolled in a group,” said Ismot.

After her enrolment with the group, she and her whole family learnt about different types of activities by receiving various training. “I’ve learned about rearing duck, my daughter Shajida has received training on block & batik (Handicraft) and she is gradually developing her capacity and skills on it. My husband is able to prepare Vermicompost and he has learned about the SRI method for rice cultivation,” she explained on how she and her family were acquiring life chances from ADRA. This group comprised of 18 members and her total savings amount was 3,220 BDT. Now, Ismot Ara has achieved financial well- being, which was possible through ADRA's activities.

Her elder daughter Shahida got an opportunity to receive tailoring training. Now, Shahida stitches their own clothes as well as taking orders from local community and earning some money which helps to bear her own tuition fees, travel costs for schools and overall family needs. Once upon a time, they had a dream to buy a mobile phone for their family, now they have it! It provides them greater ability to communicate with the stakeholder flawlessly. As a result, they have been able to extend their farming and earning more than before. Now, they are utilizing Vermicompost for their own cultivation.

They are grateful to ADRA Bangladesh, ADRA Sweden and Läkarmissionen, for their cordial support and great assistance. “They have changed our live which was not possible without their support,” said Ismot gratefully. This is how, ADRA Bangladesh is working to change people’s life in Bangladesh. 'Changing the world, one life at a time.'

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