Burdened with a disabled husband and two children, Saleha’s life had always been in despair. Being the sole breadwinner, she could hardly meet her family’s needs. But after joining UNDP’s SWAPNO project, Saleha starts rebuilding her life by working as an entrepreneur.
Originating from Lalmonirhat’s Chinipara village, 26-year-old Saleha used to do odd jobs just to feed her family.
“Life was never been easy for me. I had to work even in my pregnancy period as my husband is unable to work” – Saleha recalling her days.
Things began to change when she joined SWAPNO. Regular wa
ges and forced savings helped her to start multiple income-earning activities, which were once unheard of. By receiving training on small business management and livestock rearing, she has set up a small shop selling food items. With savings, she has bought cow and goats. She is now earning around BDT 14000 (USD 163) per month.
Apart from the financial stability, the project enlightened her about women’s rights, nutrition, climate change, health, and hygiene, etc. She realized the importance of education and started sending her daughter to school.
“Because of SWAPNO, I can now take good care of my husband. I don’t have to look back anymore,” – she said with a smile.
Recently, Saleha received formal registration from BSCIC as entrepreneur which encouraged her greatly. With the graduation bonus of BDT 18000, Saleha now plans to expand her business. She aspires to ensure a better future for her children.
Since 2015, LGD and UNDP-led SWAPNO project has been empowering rural women by enhancing their knowledge and skills who are divorced/widowed/having disabled husbands. These women are not only changing their lives but also contributing to the welfare of their communities.