Women Empowerment Project of Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been working with 21 women groups since 2006 in Mymensingh Sadar and Muktagacha Upazila intending to form Somobay Shomity. In 2018, the project has registered 10 groups to the Government Cooperative Department. ADRA has been working vigorously to empower women in rural areas by bringing them under an organizational umbrella. Shomobay Shomity plays a vital role in terms of women empowerment and socio-economic development in the rural areas of Bangladesh.
Renu Ara Begum a 34-year-old housewife and a mother of three children has been awarded by the Government Cooperative Department for her excellent leadership and management skill in the realm of Shomobay Shomity. She has been leading her group in the right direction.
Before getting connected with ADRA, Renu and her family were experiencing a very hard time in their life. They didn’t have any house for dwelling. They made a shelter covered with plastic beside the house of her elder brother as they didn’t have any lands of their own. They used to live in a makeshift tent. Renu’s husband was a rickshaw puller. It was very difficult for her husband to maintain a family comprised of five members with a little income. Renu couldn’t afford three meals a day for her children.
Renu came to know about ADRA from one of its community workers. After a few days, Renu went to visit the ADRA field office and received detailed information about its intervention. Then she decided to get the membership of the women group operated by Women Empowerment Project (WEP) of ADRA in Bangladesh.
Renu started to attend all the meetings, seminars, and training organized by WEP. Soon she held a strong position in her group and got the appreciation from the project authority. Intending to overcome the financial crisis of her family, Renu decided to get a loan from her group Shomity. After a few days, she took a loan of BDT 5,000.00 and started a tea stall in her locality. Then she took another loan of BDT 15,000.00 and purchased a cow. She was contributing to her family financially as she was earning satisfactorily from her business.
In 2018, Renu took another loan of BDT 20,000.00 from the Shomity and took 20 decimals of land as a mortgage. Renu and her husband started vegetable cultivation on their lands. They were getting optimum production and earning a good sum of money by selling them in the market.
“I’ve got the financial emancipation by involving with the women group and Shomobay Shomity of ADRA. ADRA helped me a lot to change my life. Now, I can afford three meals for my family. I send my children to school and they are receiving an education. I want to extend my business and I want to be a model entrepreneur in my locality,” Renu was unfolding her family situation and dream confidently.