You may wonder what happens when our mothers and their children leave The Sreepur Village. After three years in the village and then a brief period in rehabilitation, the majority of mothers move back to their own communities empowered with new skills and the confidence to independently support their families.
This is a story of one of our mothers who left The Sreepur Village in 2017 and has been successfully and independently supporting herself and her son.
‘I am Nargis Akhter and I am 25 years old. My hometown was Pabna but now I live in Sreepur Upzilla.
‘When I was just two weeks old my mother abandoned me and left me at a tea stall. A man from one of the local shops found me and took me into his home where I grew up as part of his family. When I was 17 they decided to arrange a marriage for me because at that time they said I was a burden to them. So, I got married but after a short while, I realised that my husband was addicted to drugs. He used to torture me because of the dowry. I was so lonely.
‘A year later I got pregnant with his son who I named Nafis. One day my husband was so drunk he tried to kill me, so that’s what pushed me to the edge and made me and my baby leave. I was at my husband’s house for around two years. When I left his house I returned to the parents who rescued me but they didn’t want me back.
‘It was around that time that I heard about The Sreepur Village and being so desperate and with nowhere or nobody else to turn to, I was so grateful with the opportunity to go and live in The Sreepur Village. I moved there in 2014 and during my three-year stay I learned so many good skills and I can now say it was these skills that changed my life.
‘During my time in The Sreepur Village, I received training at the beauty parlour, in garments and also in candle making. After successfully completing my graduation I got a job in a garments factory near Sreepur Upzilla. I now earn 9000taka (£90) per month and my son goes to school and is studying in grade one.
‘I owe my life to The Sreepur Village, if it wasn’t for them I would have never been trained in garments which means I would not be a working woman today independently providing for my family. I now live in rented accommodation but one day I hope to buy a house.
‘You could say I have two families but in fact, I have three and it is The Sreepur Village that I call my real family; it was there that I got love, peace and happiness.’
If you would like to donate to The Sreepur Village and help empower more families to independence then please visit: https://www.sreepurvillage.org/