From Sponsorship to SuccessBy Gloria Das
Habiba has seen a lot despite her young age. Her father, who is a daily wage earner, is the sole breadwinner of their six-member family. Habiba along with her elder sisters were pulled out of school.
Habiba, 9, lives in a village in Dinajpur District with her parents and three siblings. Most of the families in this village make a living by farming. Habiba’s father is a daily wage earner and the sole breadwinner of their six-member family who only have a piece of land for their homestead. Because of their impoverished financial condition, they did not have any social dignity. It was only after Habiba was enrolled in World Vision’s child sponsorship project that they could dream of a better future for themselves.
Habiba is now studying in grade three in a local school. She is enjoying her studies and wants to be a teacher in future. But all these were out of reach for Habiba even a couple of years ago. She could not even think that one day she would again go to school, which was stopped as her parents were unable to pay for the educational expenses. As their mother also had to join their father to work in others’ fields, Habiba and her sisters had to remain at home doing all the household chores.
At that time, World Vision’s Area Development Programme in their community came as a light of hope into their lives. As a sponsored child, Habiba received education materials and so started to dream again with a renewed spirit and hope. She also shared what she received from World Vision with her elder sisters, so that they could continue their studies.
World Vision also arranged skill development training for Habiba’s parents, bringing sustainable livelihoods and increased income to help them provide and care for their family in the long term. Habiba’s mother also received livestock rearing training and was given a cow after completing the training. She says the cow is so important to them, as the sale of milk and calves will help generate extra income. In a few months, the cow will give birth to a calf and also supplies the children with milk. “My youngest daughter is suffering from malnutrition. So, having milk every day will help her get well and healthy soon,” Habiba’s mother says.
World Vision’s Area Development Programme also supported Habiba’s family with a household sanitary latrine. “I am happy that I don’t need to go in the wild anymore, now we have our own toilet. It’s more comfortable to use and safe from diseases,” says Habiba. “My family members have also become healthy and stronger than before.”
As a sponsored child, Habiba and her parents attended various training on different issues related to social and right-based issues. “My parents had decided to marry off my elder sister at a very early age due to their poverty and social superstitions. But after receiving training from World Vision, they are totally changed now. They teach other community members about the negative impacts of early marriage so that they don’t marry off their children early,” says Habiba. Even her parents now say that “We will never marry off our daughter before 18. Instead, we will make them well educated for a brighter future.”
World Vision also gave Habiba’s family guidance and support to improve their small garden, as well as offering nutrition training and increasing community participation in development. The family received seeds of high yield vegetables such as bottle gourd, bean and green spinach. Planting a wide variety of vegetables has improved both crop production and the nutritional status of the family. In the past, Habiba and her family would only eat vegetables if they had the money to buy them. But now, they can get them from their home gardens and even share them with their relatives. The whole community benefits when one family becomes self-reliant.
Habiba’s parents have new hopes for their family and children. They now earn enough to meet their family’s daily needs and are even saving money for the future. And they are very grateful for the support from World Vision and sponsors who have made it possible. “Long live World Vision! We pray and hope that they will continue to work for a long time to bring sustainable development to the poor and helpless people in the community,” Habiba’s parents say, with a smile on their faces.