Imagine a day without basic amenities in life. A day without food, shelter, clothes, medical treatment or education. Imagine how challenging it is to struggle for a handful of rice every day. Imagine, you are sleeping in a sack that can fall down on you.
Rani Begum, a 33-year-old young lady lost her husband from blood cancer around 6 years back. She and her two sons live in the village Fuldi, under Gazipur district. Life revealed its harsh reality to Rani Begum and her kids after the departure of her husband who was the only earning member of the family. They used to live in an old shaded hut and could hardly afford food, clothes and other basic needs. Rani’s mother in law was the only person to offer the least support for food and shelter during the tough time. Due to poverty, her elder son had to leave school and start working as an office support boy to generate some income for survival. Their inadequate house made them vulnerable to rain, storms, robberies and other natural disasters. The kids could not concentrate on their studies because of the congested and unhealthy environment. Moreover, being a young widow, Rani had to experience various socio-cultural threats as well. “I become helpless with my two kids when my husband died from blood cancer about six years ago. I could not provide food, shelter and other basic needs to my kids and I spent sleepless nights from that anguish. I have faced the cruelty of life as a young widow with two growing kids” Rani Begum recalls.
Work opportunities are very limited in the village of Fuldi, more challenging for women. Nevertheless, Rani managed to work as a housemaid for some families and hardly lived from hand to mouth.
Rani Begum heard about Habitat Bangladesh from her neighbors and applied for a home. After the survey, Habitat Bangladesh built a new house for her under the KOICA funded project. In August 2017, Rani Begum moved to her new house with her kids. “I can’t express my joy and happiness to have a brand new home for my family. This wonderful home has provided me the blessings to be safe and secured at any situation. My social status has been improved and my kids live in a comfortable and healthy environment. I am really thankful to Habitat Bangladesh and KOICA for transforming our lives” Rani said with a glow of happiness on her face.
This new home brought new hopes and aspirations in their lives which were something impossible and imaginary in the past. Her elder son has started school again beside his work. Her younger son is 13 years old and a student of grade 6, he dreams to become a cricketer in future. The new home offered them the opportunity to save some money as they don’t have to repair the house. Rani grows vegetables in front of her home which ensures some food security. The new home has brought stability in the family and has opened the doors to explore the life of Rani and her sons.