Amena Begum(20),an active member a youth group of NutonJibon Project (Uttar Atorkhali under the cluster Ikri of Perojpur district Batch-6, NJG-11) is now self-employed (involved in 2 IGAs), as well as working as a community Book Keeper.
Amena is a daughter of a poor person named Afzal Hawlader of village Uttar Atorkhali. She somehow managed to pass SSC, and then had to discontinue her studies due to poverty. Her husband abandoned her after the birth of their son. She and her 19-month old son are now living with her parents. Before being member of Youth Group, all the family members (of her parents), including Amena and her kid had to pass their days in dare hardship as none had a regular source of income. Neither had she skill nor seed money to start any business. She had additional worries to manage food for the new born.
She always searched for opportunities and ways to overcome the problem especially to meet the basic needs of her son. Fortune smiled upon her when she got introduced and involved with the Youth Group of ‘Notun Jibon’. After some days (28.05.12) she availed the youth skill development loan of taka 8000 for tailoring training. On completion of the training in a local bazaar, she purchased a sewing machine and started making dresses for customers in her community. Now she is well-known to the villagers as a tailor, and managed to earn Taka 2000 to 2500 per month from tailoring. Other than the 4-month long sewing training, she also received training on Book Keeping and Youth Development.
Meanwhile, being a SSC passed person, she was temporarily appointed as Book Keeper by the GS to maintain and update all books and records, at a monthly salary/honorarium of taka 1000. The concerned CF and the group leaders were found very happy with her performance as she successfully maintained all the books and registers including the Village Matrix and Display Board of the VO nicely since her assumption as Book Keeper.
Amena confessed that presently tailoring is not a lucrative business in her area as in addition to professional tailors in the local markets; there are plenty of home-based small scale women-operated sewing units. But, Amena is a hard working lady and so far has been handling well all marketing/business constraints mainly utilizing her skill, knowledge and devotion. Like a true entrepreneur, she always thinks and tries to go further. Once a relatives gave Taka 100 as a gift to her son which she intelligently invested in purchasing 8 duck-eggs, produced ducklings and finally earned Taka 1500. At present she has 4 ducks and planning to scale up this duck-culture business. Now with her monthly total income of above 3000 she can manage her family smoothly.
Her confidence and mobility got increased through working with Nuton Jibon. Amena, very emphatically, said that she was extremely shy and hesitant before to enter into an office or bank, which now she can do very easily. Other members of the Village Society feel that Amena’s success is influencing other beneficiaries to involve with similar activities.