Fehmida Jameel’s story embodies what British Asian Trust wants to achieve.
Fehmida was born in a village in Pakistan where girls and boys are not always treated as equals. However, in her own family there was no discrimination between her and her brothers. Fehmida was the first girl from her village ever to go to school. In the end, it was not possible for her to complete her formal education, but Fehmida has not let the setback get her down. If anything, it’s made her more determined to ensure that the women around her enjoy a life of equal opportunities.
Fehmida’s potential was spotted by a team from our partner organisation Kaarvan, who focus on increasing the incomes of women in low-income communities. Fehmida took up their offer of skills, business and marketing training and learned how to access markets.
“There is no happiness like the happiness of knowing that you can earn your own money and use it to build you future,” she says.
Today, Fehmida runs a small business supplying one of the biggest clothing boutiques in Pakistan. She and her husband have managed to save and to build their own house. Fehmida says that the confidence she gained from training with Kaarvan has given her the opportunity to create better lives for all the women working under her.
With her family and husband by her side, Fehmida’s story shows how support and love from the right people can create better lives for people. “If you just show a little courage,” she says, “the world will flock to help you.”
Our multi-million pound Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme in Pakistan is funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development.