At the age of 19, Layina* has already experienced a lifetime’s worth of horror. Thinking she was heading to a good job in abroad, she instead found herself sold to a brothel in Mumbai. She was eventually rescued, only to spend five years in a government home with few services, only adding to her scars. Eventually she was able to return to Bangladesh, but her family wouldn’t take her back.
When she first came to Basha, the pain in Layina’s* face was palpable. But with time, a shy smile began to sneak through her deep sadness. Now after nine months, she smiles a lot. She laughs. She tells jokes. “I like the environment, I like the staff and everybody,” she says. “They help me in my work.”
Friends of Basha exists to support and train women who might otherwise have no way of supporting themselves in a dignified way. Many women need holistic care and training, especially those who have had traumatic pasts. They need to learn much more than just sewing skills.
Layina* had to learn the basics, her alphabet, her numbers. She also learned the life skills she needs to thrive in a workplace. “I learned from the training how to behave with others, how to share with others; how to show respect and cooperate with others,” she says. She lives in a hostel for trainees and employees which is funded by Friends of Basha.
With Layina’s first paycheck, she was able to buy a dress and some cosmetics. Layina is happy happy in the town where she has her job sewing Basha products. She is saving as much as she can to fulfil her dream of living in her own house. “My only dream is to buy land and to build a house for myself,” she says.
Purchases pay for women to have jobs, they allow us to hire more women. We pay wages and day care and nice work spaces, and ongoing education, benefits and holiday pay all from sales.