Pictured: Banesa with her husband Yunus
Banesa lives in a village in the Munshiganj District with her husband Yunus Ali. Together they have had four children, their youngest son is now in class four and their three daughters are married.
Banesa is one of 25 members of the Nijera Gori Mohila Samity (Build Yourself Women’s Group), formed together with Symbiosis in 2017. At the time of joining Nijera Gori Mohila Samity, Banesa was looking for a way to help finance the needs of her family. Yunus had been working as a street food seller but the income was not enough to provide the necessities for all six family members.
Connecting with the Symbiosis Project
Nijera Gori Mohila Samity is connected to the Symbiosis Composite Development Project which has an overarching goal of transformational sustainable development, out worked through the activities of community based organisation establishment, education, vocational training, health & sanitation practice awareness, environmental management and access to safe water. The relationship with the project and fellow samity members has also meant Banesa was able to build knowledge on income generation activities.
Fast forward to 2022 and Banesa reflects with joy on how activities with Nijera Gori Mohila Samity over five years has helped to make a positive and lasting change in hers and fellow samity members’ lives. In time, Banesa was able to take a loan and purchase a van for Yunus, which he now drives and has increased their daily income by over 400 taka per day. Banesa is also keeping poultry at home, contributing more savings to the samity’s fund and together they have become financially self-sufficient, living a comfortable life.
Lifelong learning leads to health
Positive change was also created by applying lessons from the Symbiosis health awareness sessions in their local area. Presently, everyone in Banesa’s family is physically well.
Both their income and change in habitual aspects of their daily lives affords them the exciting prospect of looking further into the future and towards what’s next. Banesa has plans to own a car and also see her son into higher education.
* Footnote: ‘Samity’ means group in the Bengali language.
This story was collected by the Symbiosis Composite Development Project which is led by Project Manager Abul.