SWAPNO Stories

Tale of Asiron: Homeless becoming owner of new house

Posted on 19 Nov, 2020

Asiron was only 17 years old when she got married and eventually became mother of three children. Coming from a poverty-stricken family, Asiron had suffered extreme level of anguishes in every stage of her life. Despite all sufferings, she didn’t give up and stood for herself. Now, she has a house of her own and also works at a garments factory in Dhaka. Originating from Roumari upazila of Kurigram, Asiron was the youngest member of her family. Due to financial crisis, she had to give up her study. She got married and started her own family. In the beginning, everything was going well. As time passes by, behavior of her husband towards her became changed. He started torturing her. In the meantime, she gave birth to two children.

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Situation got worse when her husband divorced her while she was carrying her third child. She had nowhere to go except her parent’s house. She started working as a maid. But this didn’t bring her any stable income. Often, she had to starve along with her children. After several months of miseries, at last she found a source of happiness. She heard about the recruitment process of SWAPNO and decided to join. Luckily her name appeared at lottery process and she finally selected. Initially, she received BDT 3600 from ROSCA and utilized in buying livestock. Apart from this, she worked at public works program, received various life changing trainings. “From SWAPNO, I received training on various topics but training on climate change and disaster risk reduction helped me the most. As I belong to a flood prone area, I grew up seeing destruction of houses every year”- she added.

After the completion of SWAPNO’s graduation program, Asiron finally lifted herself out of extreme poverty. She got a job in a garment’s factory in Dhaka through SWAPNO. She went to Dhaka and started working there. After some time, she came to know that the recurrent flood of Kurigram had destroyed her house. She came back to Kurigram and decided to build a house. She had some savings which she used to build a tin shade house consisting two rooms. “After flood, my parent’s house was totally shattered. I decided to make a new house where my family can live peacefully. Being a graduated SWAPNO women, I was confident about myself and finally built a new house” – Asiron said with a proud smile.

Asiron’s family is now living happily in this house. As Asiron is doing a job at a garments factory, she can bear all expenses of her family. She had a life of no dreams before SWAPNO, but now she is an example of valor and perseverance for her community. “This house was a dream came true for me. SWAPNO gave the new meaning to my life. Now, I can take good care of my children than before.”- she added. Since 2014, Strengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO) has been working as a social transfer project for ultra-poor women to be engaged in public works that are essential in the economic and social lives of rural communities. It promotes employment, and most importantly future employability of extreme-poor rural women.