From Conflict to Contentment

Published on
March 14, 2024 at 8:12:00 AM PDT March 14, 2024 at 8:12:00 AM PDTth, March 14, 2024 at 8:12:00 AM PDT

Feeling shattered

Before partnering with FH Bangladesh, Taslima wasn’t happy with how their life was going. Their bamboo house leaked badly during the rainy season and didn’t keep out dangerous pests, like snakes. The only education option in the area were religious schools that taught religion to the exclusion of other subjects. 

Neither Taslima nor her husband, Mustafa, had pursued formal schooling. That lack of education had a significant negative impact on their self-esteem and how society perceived them.

“I struggled with a sense of inferiority, making it difficult for me to connect with others,” Taslima explains.

Her family suffered frequent illnesses due to a lack of nutrition and basic hygiene. These challenges held them back. 

In Taslima’s words, “My family was struggling physically, financially, mentally, spiritually, and socially. Our overall standard of living was very low. My husband's work was inconsistent. We couldn't even afford adequate clothing because our primary concern was putting food on the table. When my family and I confronted these challenges, we were emotionally shattered.”

Taslima’s marriage began falling apart. She struggled to see things from her husband’s perspective which led to frequent arguments. The constant conflict created such a toxic atmosphere at home that Taslima considered leaving Mustafa and returning to her father’s house. Despair set in.

Mustafa and Taslima with their three children, (r-l) Munia, Muntasin, and Tauhid. 

Taslima embraces healing, harmony, and hope

When FH started a partnership with their community, Taslima joined an FH-initiated Savings and Loans group for women. In spite of being illiterate, Taslima soaked up every training she could. When adult literacy classes came up, she was at the front of the line to learn to read and write. 

Over the years, her relationships with FH staff members combined with a wide range of training from women’s rights to leadership to managing poultry, worked a “remarkable transformation” in her life. 

No longer illiterate, Taslima is now a leading member of her Community Based Organization. 

Taslima applied new health, nutrition, and hygiene practices that dramatically improved her family’s health, making them stronger and giving them energy for school, relationships, and work. She started raising chickens and ducks and sold their eggs to generate income. Seeing the transformation that was happening in his wife inspired Mustafa to try something new, too. He got a van and began operating his own business buying vegetables from the market and driving around town to sell and deliver them. Together, they began to earn enough to feed their children well and send them to school. 

Another major turning point in Taslima’s life was the FH couples training she took. Through that experience, she learned how to communicate better with Mustafa and exchange arguments for encouragement. “Prior to this training, frequent quarrels marred our family life,” Taslima shares. 

Mustafa takes pride in the strong business he has developed to support his family.

“This training enabled my husband and I to better understand and respect each other, value each other’s opinions, and make decisions collectively. As a result, our family now enjoys peace and harmony.” 

She also gained the confidence to take up leadership roles in her community and share what she was learning with others. Looking to the future, Taslima hopes for her family to continue strengthening relationships with their neighbours and supporting people in their area when they have needs.  

Speaking of their family life today, Taslima exclaims with a smile, “Now we are incredibly happy!”

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