Breaking the cycle of poverty

 In Around the World, West and Central Asia
OM International

As Hema* worked behind her noisy, dusty weaving loom she watched girls her age and younger heading off to school. Working day after day, she dreamed of getting an education like them, but the reality of her family situation crushed those fragile thoughts.

Hema worked alongside her mother and siblings. It was hard, ear-splitting work, but they knew there was no other option. When Hema was very young, her father died and left the chronically-poor family struggling to survive. Hema’s mother started to weave, but that income alone was not enough to put rice on the plate.

Three years ago, OM Bangladesh visited the village where Hema lives to discover if there was a need for a starter- primary school.  After meeting with the village leaders, OM was certain that Hema’s village was a priority area. The people were extremely poor and many children were not going to school as a result.

Hema was delighted to start school, even though she was considerably older than other pupils in the class. This did not curb her enthusiasm. Hema excelled in her studies and even helped the teacher run some of the activities. She is now in class three and has many hopes for the future.

Hema still works alongside her mother after school, as they continue to need the extra income to survive. However, Hema’s perspective is now different. Work is necessary, but she has the hope that one day she can break the cycle of poverty that binds her family. Hema is determined to remain in school and one day get a better-paying job that will bring her family stability.

* Name changed

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