The Road to Empowerment: Marium Bibi’s story

I was only 5 years old when my father died in a car accident. I do not recall much of what happened, but I remember being astonished at our relatives’ response in my family’s time of need. I recall one of my aunts pulling rings off my father’s fingers before he was even taken for Ghusl (in preparation for burial). It may come as a surprise to some, but my uncles were busy in distributing what my father had left behind, while his dead body was still in the house. Even his small belongings were haggled over and distributed among the four brothers. Unfortunate as it may be, this is a sad norm in many households with limited economic resources. They gave us his family, nothing and instead made us bear all the funeral expenses alone. They say it never rains but it pours. The sad demise of our father had left us at the behest of our relatives but they added to our worries and ousted us from our house after depriving us from the property and belongings of my father. All that my mother had were her immaterial possessions: the memories of my father and two daughters that were in essence a liability for the relatives. Therefore, we were left to fend for ourselves. My mother was only 23 years old at the time. Survival was hard but my mother worked in peoples’ houses to ensure the provision of our basic needs. The situation was hard but God had planned something better for us. My marriage relieved some of the financial burden on my mother. Having passed my matriculation, I also launched a tuition center at my house recently, and assist my mother as much as possible.

Through a Noor Aapi working at AHKRC, my mother was recently introduced to the Business in a Box program funded by PPIF. She was provided a bag containing family planning items and some women related products that she could then sell for a profit. Thus, my mother started working as a Noor Aapi, and began to visit families for a cause. I felt proud of my mother after interacting with the AHKRC staff who encouraged her to fight against her economic situation, while also working for the betterment of her community. Business in a box helped my mother to improve her living situation. The intent of this story is not to rant about the hardships in my life because I believe everyone goes through struggles in their lives. I really appreciate the role played by AHKRC and PPIF in helping our family overcome our struggles. Most people are skeptical about the effectiveness of these programs, but they do not realize just how much the smallest of gestures can help people stuck in situations such as ours.

“Jab apno ne hamy chorh dia tha to AHKRC-PPIF hamara maseeha ban gya, aor meri dua hai k ye program mazeed logo k ly faida mand sabit ho”.

(When all the people we called our own deserted us, AHKRC-PPIF came as a savior for us, and I pray that the program continues and benefits more people.)