I am Anwar Bibi, appreciate the project to empower women in this project financially. In this project, women are taught exciting, easy, and low-cost skills that they can use to make their place and agency in society. I started a small business with the skills I learned from this project; we are vagabonds and earn by beggary. I don’t want my two daughters to have a life like mine. My husband is disabled. In March, I got training with the support of Bedari and now making and selling cane furniture. I also trained and taught the skill to my husband and daughters. Right now, everyone in the house is making types of cane furniture. Initially, the work is not sophisticated and sells at a lower price than the general market. But with continuous hard work and practice, we will improve our work. When I found out that Bedari was going to run various courses for women in our area, many of my acquaintances, whose homes I used to go begging in, wanted to do sewing course. I don’t have a sewing machine at home. So I chose the course of cane furniture making. The sewing course is also perfect, but generally, people do not like to get their clothes stitched by us. Making cane furniture is hard work that tough people like us could do. Usually, poor people don’t have any friends or acquaintances. I shared the work with the people I begged for earning and getting acceptable responses from them. The respect and equal treatment from Bedari staff and participants were the best experiences. The staff is friendly with everyone. At the same time, the facilitator’s teaching method is perfect. In addition, the inclusion of older women in this project is very encouraging. It is encouraging to work hard after being a part of this project. And it has reduced begging. I am still working hard to sharpen my skill and expand my business. I am so thankful for this exciting and unique work of Bedari.
From begging to furniture making: Anwar Bibi finds her way to sustain her impoverished family
In an effort help her family become financially independent, a resident of , Anwar Bibi has been learning how to make low-cost cane furniture since March.Her family is composed of herself, her two daughters and her physically disabled husband who have been living in poverty off of their day’s begging. “I don’t want my two daughters to have a life like mine,” she decidedly stated. She came to know about the courses offered by Bedari through her acquaintances, whose homes she used to go for begging. “They wanted me to attend a sewing course. I don’t have a sewing machine at home, so I chose the furniture-making course instead.” The foundation of making chairs from cane is not very complicated, and the basic products sell at a lower price than on the market. With time and hard work, the pieces will start looking more professional and will sell at slightly better prices. Once she learned how to make furniture, Anwar Bibi quickly taught the skill to her husband and daughters. “Right now, everyone in the house contributes to making cane furniture,” she exclaimed. “Making cane furniture is hard work that tough people like us do,” she said. With her new skills, Anwar Bibi says, the begging has reduced. “I am still working hard to sharpen my skill and expand my business.” She is one of X women who received can furniture making skills training from Bedari, a non-governmental organization in Pakistan working in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning’s Girls Inspire initiative to protect the human rights of women and children.
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