This is the story of Misbah Sultan, a 33-year-old disabled woman from a disadvantaged community in Pakistan, and the remarkable journey she has been on as a result of the support of the British Asian Trust. Misbah and her husband faced tremendous financial struggles. Putting food on the table and paying rent were constant battles, and their children's school fees often went unpaid, leading to frequent interruptions in their education. Misbah had to rely on her siblings for hand-me-down clothes for her children, and they also took on loans to make ends meet.
Before marriage, Misbah worked at a beauty salon, but the meagre pay and discouraging environment failed to provide her with fulfilment. However, Misbah's tenacity and passion for stitching led her to British Asian Trust partner NOWPDP for training in domestic stitching. Recognising the potential of this opportunity, she eagerly enrolled in the programme, which proved to be a turning point in her life.
The domestic stitching training Misbah received not only honed her skills but also paved the way for a brighter future. After completing her training, she was supported to secure a job at Yunus Textile Mills.
Despite the hardships, Misbah found solace in the support she received from her husband and parents. Their unwavering encouragement helped her stay resilient in the face of adversity. Additionally, her employer played a crucial role in Misbah's journey by creating a supportive work environment. They provided her with transportation services, making her commute more manageable, and ensured effective communication through a designated sign language interpreter, helping her convey concerns to her supervisor.
Misbah has a passion for stitching and dreams of starting her own business in the future, she is using this opportunity to improve her skills and gain experience through her job. She is also excited to be able to provide her children with a quality education, enhance their lives, and repay her family's loans.
Misbah is deeply grateful for the training she received. She wishes to inspire others facing similar challenges to enrol in similar programmes, enabling them to acquire valuable skills, achieve financial independence, and become empowered contributors to society. Her inspiring journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of determination, support, and access to opportunities, motivating others to pursue their dreams and reshape their lives.
Misbah is one of thousands of women supported by the British Asian Trust. Our Driving Women's Economic Empowerment programme is supported by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and together we are ensuring that the lives of women like Misbah are turned around for the better for ever.