Khaleda, a 33-year-old housewife lives in a village called Dhorua under Gouripur Upazila of Mymensingh district. Khaleda always combats to attain the minimum standard of livelihood. Her efforts knew no bounds to get rid of poverty.
Khaleda’s parents give her a marriage with Islam Uddin when she was 15. Islam is also from a poor family who is a day laborer by profession. Islam is the only earning person in the family but he does not get work every day. So, they are facing a financial crisis and undergoing a traumatic situation.
Khaleda realized that it is quite impossible to maintain her family only depending on the income of her husband. Thus, she decided to take tailoring training and she did it by the help of a local tailor. But she did not have enough money to purchase a sewing machine. Then she drowned into deep frustration.
In 2013 Women Empowerment Project (WEP) [at present, it is known as the Community Empowerment Project] of ADRA Bangladesh started working in her village. By attending in general meeting, Khaleda got a clear conception of its objectives and activities. Then she enrolled in the WEP savings group. She was depositing money in her savings group on a regular basis and was following the rules and regulations of the somity. She was attending the group meeting regularly and was trying to abide by the suggestion of other group members as well as project staffs. She discussed with the management committee regarding her tailoring training and expressed her interest to purchase a sewing machine. The management committee then advised her to take a loan to purchase it.
“After six months I took a loan of Tk. 5,000.00 from the somity and purchased a sewing machine. I started working on dressmaking. Within a week I received many orders from my neighbors. Gradually, I became very busy and overloaded with tons of orders,” said Khaleda confidently.
She was repaying her loan regularly and was thinking of extending her business by involving her husband. Finally, she made her decision and involved her husband in the business. Again, she took a loan of Tk. 10,000.00 and purchased some cloth. By that cloth she was making the dress for children and her husband was selling them by going door to door in the local community. Day by day, she was extending her business and at present, it seems like a small garments factory.
“My wife is a hard-working woman who has got a great management skill which she learned from ADRA Bangladesh by attending various pieces of training. We were sinking in debt and my wife pulled out our family from that crisis. Now, I’m happy as we are operating our own business and I don’t need to sell my labor anymore for others,” said Islam.
Now, Khaleda has achieved financial stability. She has been able to take a lease of 40 decimal of land and starts cultivating vegetable and rice. At present, she is providing financial support for her parents. Khaleda feels proud for her achievement and she thinks that now she is a successful woman in her community.
“ADRA Bangladesh teaches me, how to increase family income, as well as build capacity as a good manager to manage business and family. At present, I have no financial crisis and I’m enjoying a very happy family life. My husband and community people honor me because I’ve been able to change my family situation through continuous hard work and initiatives. I’m really grateful to ADRA Bangladesh.” Khaleda expressed her feelings cheerfully.