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Mabia Begum (38), Rangamati

It is been sixteen years since we got married. My husband had nothing before our marriage. I was not able to live a life that women dream to live. I wanted to change my fate and the face of my family. But I never knew what I could do to change it. There were days we could not buy groceries. I had no idea what we would do the next day. Then I sold all my gold ornaments and took a loan to establish a grocery shop for our family. That did not work well and we had again fallen into acute poverty. My two sons were growing older and I wanted a better future for them. My husband started a cow business. I decided to help my husband take care of goats and cows. Together we started working for our family and things started to change. We continued to send our sons to school and tried hard to bring change to our life. Then I heard about the training of Danida. I worked hard with our cattle and hens. But I had no idea why we were not able to see any change in our life. When I started receiving the training for the first time, I realized how important education was for us. When I was implementing my knowledge at home for taking care of my cattle, everything changed dramatically. I started earning by selling eggs. I already knew how to care for my chickens. I produced vegetables in my vegetable garden, which was the source of my families’ nutrition. My work increased greatly but after experiencing the change, I realized I could give more labour for the improvement of my family. Everyone from my village was surprised to see my changes. In addition, they started producing vegetables and selling eggs. I ended up having six goats and four cows. I sold goats and invested cows, which give milk. Now I sell milk to the villagers. I am able to buy gold jewellery for myself. I made furniture for home. My sons are receiving better education because I was able to ensure expenses for their education. As a woman, I never thought I could do so many things in a short period. I was always afraid to take risks and raise my voice. I am selling hens and ducks and earning money for my next investments. Women from my village often ask for my advice so they can also change their lives. I know how difficult it is not to have food at home. I was never able to say anything at home because for everyone I was a woman who ran the kitchen. Now things have changed because I proved my capability to my own people, including my husband. For me the respect is more important than the money I am earning. I can see how people are treating me. I truly hope I can join further training sessions and continue to try different types of work. We never have had any television at home. I bought the TV with my savings. My sons often cried during their childhood, as the neighbours did not let them watch what they wanted to see. Those memories are far-gone. I am able to cook good food and give good things to my sons