To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, here is an empowering story of one woman’s journey to equality and independence.
“I am Ms.Rebeka. My hometown is in the northern part of Bangladesh where my family including my father, mother, sister and brother live. When I was a young child, my father and mother always encouraged me and they strongly believed that one day I would fulfil my graduation. During my childhood we lived in a remote rural area. When I was in class 8, village people, notably the boys, would start to bully me so my family decided to move to the city area. In the city, I re-started my studies and then when I was about to take my secondary school certificate exams, I was unfortunately attacked by typhoid. I was so ill I could not prepare properly for the exams so I failed. At that time a boy started to pester me regularly. One day he kidnapped me and forced me to marry him, I was so scared so I married him.
So, at 17 I started my married life. My husband came from a good family but after one month of being married I found my husband drunk and from that day onward he began to torture and abuse me. I refuse to remember this suffering as this was my disaster life!
I soon became pregnant with my daughter Ahona so all my time was spent with her but then one day I discovered my husband loves another girl and wants to marry her. So, I decided to move and divorce him and go back to live in my father’s house.
Back at my father’s house I found work in a local garments factory but I couldn’t work there for long because once again people started to attack me. I felt lonely, disturbed and unhappy. I began to feel isolated and insecure in my own hometown especially as I now had a child to look after. It was at that time I heard about The Sreepur Village.
In 2019 The Sreepur Village welcomed me and my 8-year old daughter with open arms and it was from that day onwards that I started this happy chapter of my life. The Sreepur Village makes me feel safe, secure and above all equal. I am not bullied or tortured here as I was throughout my life. Here, I can learn new skills, when I first arrived I had training in tailoring and now I am working in the agriculture field and learning about growing vegetables in sacks and all about nutrition and healthy eating. Every day I learn something new. My daughter has also started her school life at The Sreepur Village school and I also believe that I can return to my study life again.
When I came to The Sreepur Village I couldn’t communicate with anyone, but because The Sreepur Village charity strongly believes in human rights, being kind and fair it wasn’t long before I could easily talk and get on well with others. Along with the training I have received, I strongly feel that I now have an equal opportunity to reach my goals and live independently with my daughter.”
To help other women reach their goals of living equally and independently why not purchase one of our charity’s enamel pins, symbols of empowering women and educating children.
Click on the link to order your pin: https://bit.ly/2TFHCyp and wear with pride not only for women on International Women’s Day but for women every day.
In 2018, with the aid of CIPRB and one of their trustees, Becky Horsbrugh, the Sreepur Village started to run swimming lessons in their pond in the village grounds. The lessons, since this date, take place every year during the months of June and July, and are now taught by a number of Sreepur staff who have since been trained to facilitate the programme each year.
Approximately sixty children, aged 6-12, take part each year. They will learn how to swim 25 metres freestyle, tread water or float for 30 seconds as well as perform a rescue from dry
land. As half the number of deaths from drowning occur in 1-5 year olds, having an older child trained in dry-land rescue is pivotal in striving to keep this devastating number down.
It's British Science Week, 11th 20th March, and one of the activities that the Sreepur Village runs is the creation and nurturing of sack gardens.
This is an aspect of the Mothers Talking Everyday Science project and is a particularly important activity because when the mothers return to mainstream society they will be experienced in how to prepare a container in which to grow food plants and how to care for them.