I’ve seen many women in the rural areas of Bangladesh compelled to give up their education and buried their dream of being a graduate. Morjina Begum is one of them. A 38-year-old housewife had to give up her education when she attended class ten. She had a deep interest in education but all of her efforts for getting educated diminished to poverty.
“I born in a poor family at Mehergoan village of Fulbaria Upazila in Mymensingh district and I had to get married at an immature age. I have three sons. So, there are five members in my family including my husband. My husband Rafiqul Islam was a marginal farmer who couldn’t afford all the basic needs of our family. Rafiqul wasn’t capable of undertaking all the expenses of our family with his little income. Thus, we had to eat two times a day instead of three,” Morjina was defining her distress.
“I was constantly seeking a way to get rid of this vilest situation and arrange three meals a day for my children,” said Morjina vigorously. Morjina heard about ADRA Bangladesh from one of the fields works of Capacity Building of Farmers Family (CBFF) project. She learned about the activities of ADRA Bangladesh and its project from CBFF staffs.
Morjina liked the activities of the CBFF project and thought that if she could get enrolled in this project she could change her family situation. She had shown her interest in agriculture, health, literacy class, savings deposit and training of Income Generating Activities (IGA). She was very keen to deposit some money and receive IGA training.
In 2015, Morjina enrolled in a women’s group of CBFF project. After enrolling in the group, she had been getting benefits from the project and brought positive changes in her life as well as in her family. Every week she used to deposit Tk. 20 to their group fund and was able to save a good sum of money.
To build the capacity of its beneficiaries, the CBFF project arranged different types of training. Morjina and Rafiqul received various training e.g. tailoring, Vermicompost, duck and hen rearing, cow rearing, SRI method, group Management committee training and attended various awareness sessions on health and rights. Her family received sewing machine, rice seeds, mango tree, fish, vegetable seeds, toilet, and net for fencing from CBFF project.
“I had been utilizing all the training I received from CBFF. Consequently, after receiving the tailoring training, I started making girls and women’s dress and earning a good sum of money. I produced 375 kg of Vermicompost and sold them at Tk. 3,000. I learned about modern agrarian and cultivation methods. I was producing vegetables by using the Dike Crop and Pond Crop methods. I received intensive literacy class which helped me a lot to learn so many good things. I had been regarded as a Social Volunteer from the project,” Morjina was labeling the benefits she got from ADRA Bangladesh.
Now, she is leading and helping the group and management committee to sprout the savings. Even she is helping in writing group resolution notebooks, passbooks, and collection sheet.
Morjina and her husband received three times loan from the project. The 1st time they took Tk. 10,000 and invested in their poultry farm. In their second loan, they took Tk. 20,000 and took a lease of 26 decimals of land. They took Tk. 30,000 as their third loan and again they took a lease of 39 decimals of land. This season they produced 1092 kg of rice. All together their monthly family income is about Tk. 30,000.
At present, Morjina and her husband are able to afford three meals a day for their children and meet up all their basic needs to live a better life. Morjina is well known to her group and community. Her neighbors respect her and come to her for taking suggestion and advice. “I would like to assist our community using my experience and influence the community people so they can attain a better life especially who are very poor,” said Morjina confidently.