Sabina Begum is an exemplary entrepreneur, a wife and a mother of 4 children. Sabina remembers clearly the days when she neither could adequately feed her family nor send her children to school regularly because of poverty. Today, her children are going to school regularly, and she also helps to pay for her children’s education. “I am very excited about all of our achievements, and it’s from humbleness, persistence, and hard work,” said Sabina.
Sabina Begum lives in Tatirpaya village, in the union of Gouripur, Mymensingh district in Bangladesh. In 2012, they suffered a lot financially. Her husband was a day labourer, but he was too lazy to search for daily work. It was tough for Sabina to arrange three meals a day for her family. She was searching for better options so that she could start a business. In the meantime, she came to know about ADRA Mohila Unnoyon Shomity of WEP project in ADRA Bangladesh, and joined there as a member. After that, she started saving money so that she could take a loan from the Shomity. But it was hard to save money and maintain the living costs of her family.
“In 2013, I had withdrawn my savings from the Somity. Then, I had migrated to Dhaka with my family for a better livelihood. We started living in a slum and tried hard to find a good job. Unfortunately, it was not easy to find a good job as me and my husband were uneducated. Due to the migration, the education of my children had stopped. Very soon we faced the bitter reality of a metropolitan. No one could support us as everyone was very busy with their problems. My family experienced financial hardship, and we were unable to meet daily expenses such as food, clothes, and the educational needs of the children. Every day, we hardly managed to afford the family meals on time,” Sabina describing her hardship.
In 2014, Sabina and her husband decided that they would go back to the village again as it was very hard for them to maintain their livelihood costs in Dhaka. Sabina went to the ADRA Shomity again to rejoin. It was difficult for her to rejoin as she had withdrawn all of her savings from the Shomity. When she told about her life to the ADRA management they gave her another chance and provided her with a loan of 5,000 taka. With that loan, Sabina started a handicrafts business. She used bamboo and started to sell the crafted items in the local market. Her husband also found work pulling a rickshaw. After repaying the first loan, Sabina took another loan of 10,000 taka and expanded her businesses. Now, they both are jointly earning around 15,000 to 20,000 taka per month.
“My family and I had to tackle hard times. So much has become possible with ADRA. The benefit has not only been in terms of finance but also things like savings, financial literacy, leadership, and independence,” said Sabina.
Through ADRA loans, Sabina has been able to support her husband’s income and provide a better life for her family. Her husband is pleased with the success of her business. “He’s happy because our children are going to the school, and we are gradually building our future,” said Sabina cheerfully.
Original Story: Mafuz Syed, ADRA Bangladesh