Sujo (edited only slightly from Oct.’16 report received from Bangladesh) …
(name adjusted to protect her) age 15, in class 10 faced a BIGGEST challenge in her life. After her class as she came back to her home she found many unknown guests … all of them were waiting for her! She thought they might be relatives. Surprisingly she found that they came to see her to choose her as bride for one of their sons. She knows what it means and she knows suffering is waiting for her. She took initiative with mighty courage that her family were astonished. She said, “If I am even killed I will not marry. I will study and make a career to help my parents. I will not allow anyone to destroy my dream. If anyone dare to do so has to kill me first”. Parents said that they unable to bare her education expenses. She said I will manage my own. She urged please don’t force me to merry. Parent could not change her mind so visitors left.
She came back to her group and shared her problem. Everyone gave her courage and Kari(TCD/GHNI mentor) asked her what she loves to do? She loves gardening. And beside her homestead there is a fallow land. She with her group mates clean the land and prepare the land for gardening. She knew this is her only chance to save her dream. She work every day after class. Within a week of her labor she planted gourd in her garden. It was complete madness to the villagers to see a girl working for her marriage(NON!)! “She will get married and cook for her husband family that what she was born for according to the village leader.”(said villagers) She ignored all criticism and worked hard. Besides working in garden she is now giving more time to her mother to assist her in domestic work.
Surprising everyone within 2 month her garden was full of flower! Every flower was a part of fulfilling her dream. She told her group, “If we work hard, a way will be shown to us to overcome any problem of life”. She is selling every other day gourd from her garden. Now it is source of income of her education and source of nutrition of her family. “TCD group has saved my life, by introducing life and hope into my life. Still she is studying and encouraging other member of her group.
Thanks for you … in choosing to be a part of all this!