Mohammad Hossain and
“I started with only one small grocery
shop. I had little money and my Ghashful loan was the only
capital accessible to me. Now, fifteen years later, I own a
nursery, a biogas plant, a dairy farm and one poultry
Mr. Mohammad Hossain, a 45-year-old enthusiastic and
hardworking man, was born in the Kolagaon village in the Patiya
upazilla of the Chittagong District. In 1991, Mr Hossain
started a grocery shop with his wife of 22 years, Mobaraka
Khatun. The partnership elevated Mrs. Khatun from the simple
role of a housewife to that of micro-finance recipient and business
partner. Together, they have laboured to build their assets
and achieve incredible financial growth and security.
Initially, the grocery shop and two acres of land were the only
assets Mr. Hossain owned. Consuming most of what they grew,
Mr. Hossain and Mrs. Khatun were unable to accumulate many
savings. With financial help from some relatives, the couple
were able to diversify into poultry farming. With hardwork and
dutiful saving, Mr. Hossain and Mrs. Khatun were able to accumulate
some capital and increase the size of the poultry farm.
Presently, the farm has 1000 laying chooks and they employ two
full-time labourers. The eggs are sold to local vendors and
Mr. Hossain and Mrs. Khatun receive a daily income of Tk. 1500 and a
net income of Tk.12, 000 per month.
After the great success of the poultry farm, Mr. Hossain and Mrs.
Khatun were inspired to begin a nursery business. While Mr.
Hossain and Mrs. Khatun knew that they were capable of operating
such a business, their dream of becoming nursery-shop owners was
unfulfilled due to insufficient capital and a lack of knowledge
about plant cultivation techniques. Around this time, the
couple became aware of Ghashful’s micro-finance loans and
specialised training. Mrs. Khatun discussed her proposal with
the local Shomiti leader and community mobiliser, Kumkum
Barua. After saving for a few months further, Mrs. Khatun
received a loan of Tk.7000 from Ghashful and began training in
various income generating activities. After repaying her first
loan, Mrs. Khatun applied and received a second loan for
Tk.10,000. The initial loan assisted in the start-up of the
business and the second loan helped the couple to expand. The
nursery employs three skilled people and grows approximately 15,000
plants such as mango, jackfruit, coconut, guava, watermelon, lemon,
papaya, gamari, horitoki segun and raintree. The plants are
sold throughout Chittagong and surrounding areas. With the
diverse range and number of plants, Mr. Hossain and Mrs.
Khatunown assets totalling Tk.80,000 from their nursery business
alone! Monthly profits total Tk.20,000.
Since establishing the nursery, Mr. Hossain and Mrs. Khatun have
accessed further Ghashful loans to establish a dairy farm and a
bio-gas plant that processes low cost firewood to sell to their
r. Hossain and Mrs. Khatun are extremely grateful that Ghashful
was able to assist them to grow their business ventures and improve
their living standards. In addition, they were able to receive
health care advice and education and participate in both savings and
From employee to factory owner!
Delowar Hossain started as a minor employee of a shoe
factory. He had little savings and no hope of working enough to
increase his financial well-being. His wife, Nurtaj, struggled to
make ends meet with the small income brought home by her husband. In
1997, Nurtaj learnt about the small loans offered by Ghashful.
Nurtaj became a member of a Ghashful shomiti and participated in the
training programs offered to her. After six months, Nurtaj took a
loan for Tk. 5000. The money was used to assist Delowar to use his
knowledge to begin manufacturing shoes. The shoes made handsome
profits for the couple and their financial security increased. With
dedication and hard work, the couple were able to slowly expand
their business and build a shoe factory. Now, the factory employs
ten workers and they also have a shop to sell their
Nurtaj is extremely proud to have helped her husband
move from an employee to a factory owner. Nurtaj has lived up to her
name, meaning ‘crown of light’, and provided a way forward for
herself and her husband. Nurtaj not only uplifted her husband’s
position and gained the respect of her family, she has also created
employment opportunities for ten people. The satisfaction of
building a business together with her husband is immeasurable and
Nurtaj knows that she will live a happy life together with Delowar
and their three year old daughter.
Saiful’s eye operation
Mohammad Saiful was
a dedicated student in class five at the Ghashful Millarbil School.
He studied hard in the hope of overcoming his family’s poverty.
Saiful’s mother worked in a garment factory to provide for her
family and keep them healthy and happy.
In October 2003,
Safiul participated in an eye screening program arranged by
Ghashful, the Lions Club of Presidency and the Lions Eye Hospital.
Unfortunately, during the screening process, a paramedic found a
tumor in Saiful’s eye.
Saiful and his family faced a huge
dilemma when they found out about the tumor. Saiful needed surgery
to remove the tumor and restore his health. The normal cost for the
procedure was Tk. 5000, a price that Saiful’s mother was not able to
When Ghashful became aware of the predicament, they
decided to pay the full cost of Saiful’s operation. Saiful operation
was carried out successfully and he now has complete use of his eye.
After his eye operation, Saiful participated in the final
examinations of class five and successfully graduated his NFPE.
The first recipient of a Tk. 1 lakh loan
There is a look of tremendous confidence on Ferdousi’s
face and her glittering eyes suggest that she has many dreams for
her future. Ferdousi Akber is an ambitious and confident
entrepreneur after participating in Ghashful shomitis for six years.
She recently received a loan of Tk. 1 lakh from Ghashful, the first
person to have received such a large amount.
Each of the
loans that she received from Ghashful has been used to gradually
increase the size of the grocery shop she owns and manages.
Ferdousi’s grocery shop also has a corner tea stall and she employs
three support staff to assist her. This time, Ferdousi will use her
loan to open a cosmetics shop at Patenga beach.
Gahshful’s Enterprise Development and Business Management (EDBM)
training, Ferdousi says that the training has developed her business
knowledge and made her keen to keep expanding her businesses.
Ferdousi lives at Fakirhat in the Goshaildanga area of the city with
her husband and two children. Her husband is small businessman as
well as working with a private company. With the belief that
knowledge is light, Ferdousi is proud that her son is in class seven
and her daughter is in class three.
Shamima explains that the training
completely changed her views and her life. Now, she has a
business of her own and she is self-reliant. Shamima’s family
also recognizes the impact of the Ghashful loans on her life and her
husband’s family values her as a contributing member.
Steel furniture producer
Shamima and her
husband, Abdul Mahbub, owned a small amount of property in West
Madarbari. Although they earned some money to pay for their
daily expenses, Shamima was unhappy that her husband was unemployed
and not motivated to search for new work.
Deciding to do
something to help her family, Shamima joined a Ghashful
shomiti. After taking the Enterprise Development and Business
Management (EDBM) training, Shamima opened a steel furniture
shop. Shamima took loans that was invested in her steel
furniture shop. Now, Shamima’s husband and brother manage the
shop under her active supervision. The shop employs 13 support
staff and has a monthly income of Tk. 18,000. Shamima hopes to
take a further assistance to enlarge the business again and move to
a new premises.
2003, Mr Hoque asked Ghashful to admit Munna into the school.
The teacher refused because of Munna’s family’s financial position
and a policy of prioritizing underprivileged children.
Although Munna was not enrolled in the school he began to
attend the classes. The teacher at the school began to guide
Munna in his studies and gradually Munna became enthusiastic and
attentive. Mr Hoque noticed Munna’s progression and again
requested to enroll Munna at the school. In January 2004,
Munna officially began his NFPE classes. Now, Munna no
longer runs away from school and he is eager to learn.
Interesting study changed Munna’s
Omar Hayat Munna is
a student in class two at the Ghashful
Goshaildanga NFPE School. Munna’s father, Abdul Hoque, is a
truck driver and the owner of two trucks and his mother, Hasina
Begum, is a housewife. Although these schools target
students from underprivileged families, Munna chose to attend the
Ghashful school rather than attend the Government school that his
Previously, Munna was in class two
at West Ghoshaildanga Government Boys School. In 2003, he was
promoted to class three but his families were astonished to learn
that Munna didn’t even know how to write the alphabet! Munna
didn’t enjoy attending class and often her ran away from school
during the day. When his parents found out, Mr Hoque decided
to enroll him at the Gashful NFPE School.