Heroes Saga: Real Women, Real Stories!

I CHANGE HER LIFE HEROES SAGA

‘I CHANGE HER LIFE’ IS SHARING THE STRUGGLES AND DIFFICULTIES FACED BY WOMEN AND GIRLS THAT THE ORGANIZATION CURRENTLY SUPPORTS THROUGH ITS CAMPAIGN TO EMPOWER WOMEN. WE CREATE AWARENESS AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE, FORCED EARLY MARRIAGES, HONOR KILLINGS, SOCIAL STIGMATISM AGAINST DIVORCEES AND EDUCATION FOR GIRLS.

WHO IS SHE:

Akhtar Bibi

D/O: Iltaf

Qualification: SSC

Marital status: Divorcee

Skill: Tread work, mirror work, kuresha work, appliqué work, moti work, sitara work, taar kasha

HER STORY

When times are difficult and a sacrifice needs to be made why do we always expect it from females? This short story is not about every female, it is Akhtar Bibi and other females like her.

Akhtar Bibi is now twenty-five years old.When she was eleven, her parents compelled her to get married to her cousin who was an epilepsy patient, with a mother was also ill. Akhtar Bibi was expected to take to take on the responsibility of caring for them. Akhtar Bibi parents were under the impression that her aunt needed her assistance, so she was forced to get married to her cousin.

How could parents be so cruel and force her to do the unexpected? It is not just a story, but a bitter reality of Akhtar’s life. Can you imagine the impact this has on a child at only the age of eleven, she got married and got divorced, all within three months?

She joined a vocational skills center to keep herself busy, to continue her studies, and did matric as a private candidate. Then she started teaching in a small community school on 3000 PKR per month. She proved to be a very brave person. Just when she started to feel stronger, her father broke her spirit once again by leaving his family. Her father married another lady and started living with her leaving his family behind.

HARDSHIPS CONTINUED

Akhtar and her siblings lived as orphans for ten years. After this long time, Akhtar’s family received unfortunate news from her stepmother about her father’s heart problem. He was admitted to a hospital and was waiting for someone to support him in arranging funds to cover the price of heart surgery. During this time, his second wife left him and  informed Akhtar’s family that they should arrange money for his surgery, and also provide care for him.

Akhtar’s mother and brothers gather money by selling their private assets and by borrowing money from relatives. Her father is now home on bed rest.

HOW SHES CHANGING HER LIFE

At this time, Akhtar is a skilled female and is good at stitching and hand embroidery. She is currently training to become a beautician. She also wants to establish her own vocational skill center, but currently does not have sufficient resources.

I Change Her Life just took a brave step to support Akhtar and other women like her to utilize their potentials and enhance their livelihoods.

BIO 1

Social Business Enterprise Model

Social Business is an enigma to most people. Despite the recent increase in the hybrid form of businesses that combine aspects of non-profit and for-profit, there is ambiguity regarding how Social Businesses actually work.

I Change Her Life has created a visual representation of  the business model to make it easy to follow and understand.

business cycle- red

I Change Her Life Workshops

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I Change Her Life trains underprivileged women to become socially and economically empowered. The workshops are conducted in remote areas of Pakitan with the help of local non-profit organizations that work as field partners of I Change Her Life (For more Information about fantastic partners and associates: http://www.ichangeherlife.com/non_profit_partners.html).

The workshops are conducted in groups of 25 – 35 women. Each workshop consists of three main components and an additional part that covers research.

1- General:

  • Introduction
  • Trust building through dialogue
  • Topics of general interest including personal hygiene, cleanliness, civic sense, maternal health care

2- Psychological:

  • Trauma support (For IDPs and Refugees) to address PTSD.
  • NeuroLinguistic Programming to motivate and increase involvement
  • Life Coaching to address personal issues and dilemmas holding women back

3- Skill Specific

Five basic modules of training are offered.

  • Embroidery/ Stitching
  • Beautician
  • Carpentry
  • IT
  • Management

The Fouth segment of workshops covers research. The training manual is specifically designed for women who are not educated to understand the complex reading material. The colored illustrations make the manual appealing without intimidating the workshop attendees. The research material covers demographic information, most common problems faced by women and girls and women’s preference towards professions. I Change Her Life has been collecting data from workshops since 2009.

 

 

 

What Truly Matters…

In villages across South Asia, including Pakistan, little girls, as young as seven are sold off to men much older than themselves. Sometimes, the females are married off to ‘grooms’ old enough to be their grandfathers!

Recent case studies by http://www.ichangeherlife.com revealed that the most common reason for forced early marriages is poverty. The lack of money and resources is cited as the most common factor in casting- off young girls in the name of marriage.

I Change Her Life is creating awareness that true marriage is between two consenting adults who love and care about each other. The workshops conducted by I Change Her Life help young women to understand that they have a choice to change their future. The skill- based training program equips girls with skillset according to their proclivity towards a certain profession. The girls can choose from five basic categories: Embroidery/ Stitching, Carpentry, Beautician courses, management training and IT.

What truly matters, is not how many resources are available but how we can help girls to change their mindsets and feel empowered!

 

Making a Difference in the lives of Women and Girls

I Change Her Life is a Social Business Enterprise committed to changing the lives of women and girls. The organization believes in creating positive social change at grassroots to address social and economic issues especially related to gender violence and rights of women in patriarchal societies. The enterprise addresses various issues related to female empowerment including forced child marriages, divorce due to lack of dowry, domestic violence, honor killings and women’s right to education. I Change Her Life has been actively involved in capacity building and skill- based training programs specifically aimed at rehabilitation of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and Refugees in Istanbul.