Ruma is a member of Tollabari adolescent club in Magura, Bangladesh. Because her family was too poor to support her, Ruma was forced into marriage at the age of 13, when she was in seventh grade.
After a while, her husband and father-in-law began to pressure her for a dowry payment. She was not respected by her husband, and the pressure of the impending dowry payment caused her great hardship and stress. After discussing the situation with her parents, she decided to divorce her husband. Ruma returned home to live with her parents, who could barely afford to feed her, let alone continue her schooling.
Then Ruma joined the local BRAC adolescent club, where she received training in poultry rearing and took out a loan of BDT 7,000 ($85). She used BDT 2,000 ($25) to purchase chickens and used the remaining funds to purchase a sewing machine. She also participated in BRAC’s financial literacy training program and returned to school.
With her income from chicken rearing and tailoring, Ruma is able to pay her loan installments and also save money regularly. Now, she is able to bear her educational expenses, in addition to contributing to her family’s economic well-being.