Most significant change: Search for light
Jaffar Haseeb Ahsan* tells of finding new hope in life after his wife was selected to learn how to start and run a business through ICMC Pakistan and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme.
My name is Jaffar Haseeb Ahsan* and I am from Village Mangli, UC Balakot, District Mansehra. I have one son and one daughter. My son is disable and is completely dependent on my wife and me. I used to work as a construction worker in Rawalpindi and earn a living for my family. One day I got very high fever which turned into typhoid. I went to the doctor for medicines but unfortunately the medicines reacted and I became completely blind in a matter of days.
I was not able to work and was totally dependent on my wife. She started washing dishes in other peoples’ houses to support me and my children. There would be days when there would not be enough food for all of us and she would lie to me that she has already had dinner and would feed my children and me. On Eid she would manage to get new clothes for us and lie to me that she was also wearing new clothes. I could not see and I had to believe her. Later I would find out that she had sacrificed her own desires for us. I feel very lucky to have a caring wife like her.
Members of community organization, Ghazali, referred me to Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) officers who verified my case and selected my wife, Jamila, for micro-enterprise. Jamila attended a 12 days micro enterprise training in which she was taught how to start and run a business. SRSP gave her grant to start a vocational center for embroidery. My wife has stopped washing dishes in other people’s houses and has involved five other poor women in the vocational center. She embroiders clothes, supervises others and sells the products in market. I am proud that my wife has started her own business and is also helping other women. Now my wife does not wash dishes in other peoples’ houses and is able to earn a decent living at my own house.
I would like to title my story, ‘Search for Light’ as I lost my eyesight and was looking for a ray of hope in my life.
*Name changed to protect the person's identity.