Read Time: 2 min.
In many areas of extreme poverty, school is not considered an essential need.
Selina was the eldest of five children growing up in extreme poverty in Bangladesh. As her parents struggled to provide for their children’s essential needs, they could not afford the cost of sending Selina to school, so she was forced to drop out of school in eighth grade.
Selina, 8th Grade Bride
Right after dropping out of school, Selina was married off to a local farmer in her village. This is a common practice in areas of extreme poverty. In villages where gender bias is still the norm and girls are considered to be of lesser value than boys, many parents marry their daughters off at a very young age to gain relief from the “financial burden” of caring for them. But other parents marry their young daughters off out of desperation – hoping a new husband will be able to provide the girls with a better life.
Selina, Teen Mother
Within a few years, Selina gave birth to a daughter and then a son. As her children grew up, Selina realized she needed to send them to school. As a local farmer, Selina’s husband struggled to bear the cost of providing for their family on his own. It wasn’t possible for him to pay for their two children to go to school.
That’s when Selina decided to join a local workshop of fair-trade Artisans, hoping to earn enough income to help their kids get an education. As Selina began weaving tapestries, she also began weaving a new story of hope for her family.
Selina, Empowered Woman
Selina earned enough income as a fair-trade Artisan to help provide her family with financial stability and send both of their children to school.
Selina’s daughter went on to pursue a Bachelor of Business Studies.
As her son finishes his schooling and is beginning to pursue his dreams, Selina’s dream is to continue to provide opportunities for both of her children to get a higher education.