Amena’s Story

When Amena Begum, a mother of three, became a widow at the age of 29, she didn’t know what her next step would be. A majority of the family’s savings had been spent on treating her husband’s illness and the family was not sure how they would make ends meet.

However, she was not to be deterred. Having learnt sewing from a young age, she decided to venture forth with her own business. She not only started her own successful tailoring business, but today also employs four other struggling women in her community and mentors them. Her venture was financially supported by Bangladesh Youth Enterprise Advice and Helpcentre (B’Yeah) and the Loomba Foundation.

Her work was recognized with the B’Yeah Entrepreneur of the Year’ award in 2011. And her story stands as an example of a widow who gained her financial independence, while overcoming social stigma, and also living life on her own terms.

Anita’s Story

Anita Kesri lost her husband in 2008. Apart from losing a loved one, she now had to face the responsibility of singlehandedly raising her children. The situation appeared even more challenging because she lacked opportunities for economic and social independence.

In 2015, she enrolled in The Loomba Foundation’s Varanasi project. She received two months of training in tailoring and a sewing machine. This training not only gave her a job, but also empowered her with the confidence to step out of social restrictions and live a full life.

Rashida’s story

After the death of her husband in 2008, Rashida had to face financial difficulties and socialostracisation.

But then Rashida discovered that there was still hope when The Loomba Foundation provided her daughter with a scholarship that allowed her to continue studying. Rashida also took part in the Foundation’s Widow Empowerment Project that provided vocational training for widows in garment stitching.

At the end of the successful completion of her training, Rashia received a sewing machine from the Foundation. She now works and is able to provide a satisfactory life for herself and her children.

“We have to work together”

Hilary Clinton speaks on International Widows Day, via video conference, in 2006.

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