On October 15th of this year, the United Nations inaugurated the International Day of Rural Women to recognize "the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty."
At Trickle Up, we honor rural women and their role in leading their families on the first steps out of poverty. Many of the participants we target are from remote areas. Rashida Bibi's story is one example:
Surrounded by all of her kids - including her baby goats, Rachana, Sundari and Vudo - Rashida Bibi says, "Now we are in a much better situation, and don't have to starve. We can have better quantity and quality of food. Our children are going to school - and they are happy."
With support from Trickle Up, Rashida has taken remarkable steps out of the extreme poverty most people in her region endure. In West Bengal, where Rashida lives, the Ganges meets the Indian Ocean at the Sunderbans river delta. While the area boasts a wildlife sanctuary and the world's largest mangrove forest, poor villagers have little access to natural resources. Community needs - from sanitation to healthcare to literacy - remain largely unaddressed. Until recently, Rashida and her family skipped meals and often went to bed hungry.
One year after receiving Trickle Up seed capital, Rashida now manages a herd of nine goats, as well as a cow she shares with her neighbors, breeding them and selling their offspring for a profit. She also takes advantage of the monsoon season by cultivating fish for protein in a small pond. Through Trickle Up's training, Rashida learned to sign her name and count the money she earns. Now, her family also has access to a local health clinic and her children can attend school.
For women who grew up in remote areas and had few opportunities, the support Trickle Up provides means that they can help their families break cycles of poverty. Your support for our program in West Bengal is helping many other women like Rashida Bibi get their families started on the first steps out of poverty.