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Mohammad Hossain and Mobaraka Khatun

“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 farm!”

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 neighbours.

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 credit programs.

Delowar and Nurtaj Hossain

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 shoes.

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.

Mohammad Saiful
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 afford.

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.

Ferdousi Akber

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.

Discussing 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 Akter
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.

  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.  

Omar Hayat Munna

Interesting study changed Munna’s attitude

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 parents preferred.
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.

  In July 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.


about ghashful | programs | case study | achievement | policy & research | financial | career | media