Story of a Rural Housewife: Asma has achieved financial solvency!
Asma Begum was born into an impoverished family in Pachar village under the Union of Sahnati, Gauripur Upazila of Mymensingh district. Asma Begum married Abul Hashem when she was 17 years old. Her husband's family was not very affluent. Somehow her husband could meet the household expenses by selling labor. They were quite a happy family with two sons and daughters.
Asma encountered an evil time when she lost her husband. Abul Hashem died abruptly. Asma Begum lost her husband at a young age and became disoriented and mentally broken with two children. Asma remained sad due to the hatred and taunts from her neighbors.
“I couldn’t eat three meals a day. I borrowed a cow from my neighbors and started rearing it. No one helped me. When I went to ask for help, they scolded me! I was encountering a difficult time,” Asma unfolded her agonies.
In 2019, Asma came to know about ADRA Bangladesh. She attended the meeting of ADRA Bangladesh and tried to listen to the motivators of ADRA Bangladesh. She enrolled as a beneficiary member in Group#8 under Pachar Mahila Unnayan Shomity. She received group management training through Community Empowerment Project (CEP) and started saving in groups regularly.
During that time, she received training on Vermicompost production, and she produced Vermicompost regularly. With the inspiration of ADRA field workers, she started earning by keeping herself busy with Bamboo and Cane work (handicrafts). Asma Begum received training on Income Generation Activities (IGAs), Health & Hygiene, Awareness raising, etc.
“In 2020, I took a loan of BDT—5,000 from Pachar Mahilla Unnayan Shomity to expand my Bamboo and Cane (handicraft) business. Besides, I started rearing two cows. I gathered experience in operating a sewing machine from my neighbor. Later, I bought a sewing machine worth BDT 7,000.00 by selling the handicrafts made of Bamboo Cane,” said Asma.
Currently, Asma engages with handicrafts, rearing cows, ducks, and chickens, and produces Vermicompost. Her monthly average income is about BDT. 12,000. Her savings amount to Pachar Mahilla Unnayan Shomity is BDT. 4,269.
Asma Begum and her children are thankful to all the employees of ADRA Bangladesh for supporting them in their difficult times. She requested that ADRA Bangladesh continue the project activities in her area for a long time so that many families in Gouripur Upazila can increase their family income and improve their living standards.