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Panjabati Deb Borma became a widow four years ago. She was left to raise her two children all by herself. With her husband’s earnings gone, Panjabati would stay awake at night wondering if she had the courage to ask her children to drop out of school. She decided to part with the two goats that she had reared, but it earned her very little when she finally sold them at the market. She finally had to take financial support from her parents and brothers, something that she had never wanted to do.

Panjabati’s story today, however, is a very different one. It all started in 2016 when she promised herself that this could not go on for her and her two children- that life simply had to change. She became a member of her local village development organisation (VDO) and received seed funding support from the Jibika project, along with training on the macha system, an improved goat rearing shed. Panjabati has nine goats today, with a monthly income of BDT 10,000. She plans to expand her business. She is already an inspiration for her community members, many of who have learned to replicate the macha model because of her.

What makes Panjabati most relieved is that she no longer has to think of taking her children out of school. A better future is already here.

Jibika is a partnership project of BRAC and Chevron under BRAC’s integrated development programme, implemented in October 2015 in Sylhet region (Sylhet, Moulvibazar and Habiganj). The project promotes entrepreneurship for sustainable income growth among farming households through community-based cooperative institutes called village development organisations, with IDEA as the local implementing partner. The project will support 20,000 people under the present project period ending in June 2018.

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