The real inspiration in the stories of people overcoming poverty often lies not with the individual successes, but in their commitment to also improve the lives of others.


A difficult past


Nurunnahar’s husband passed away in an accident seven years after they married. She came back with their little son and daughter to live with her parents.


In the following days, Nurunnahar witnessed how known faces could become unknown, and how the harsh reality of poverty could completely change the way people treat others in need.


Realising potential


Nurunnahar was selected as a UPG participant in 2009. The programme helped her to regain confidence, set targets and progress towards them. Nurunnahar diversified her income sources within two years and successfully met all the other criteria of Graduation.


Nurunnahar believes that apart from her assets, the social and health lessons were the most important inputs that she gained from the UPG programme.


The lessons encouraged her to raise her voice against the marriage of her underage niece, and, with what she had learnt, she made an argument strong enough to stop it. Nurunnahar became known as a voice of reason and justice in her community after the incident, and people started to seek her advice on similar issues.


A social leader


Nurunnahar was elected as the commissioner in the municipal election in 2011. Her efforts have been vital in reducing dowry and underage marriage in the community.


She has taken part in various workshops and presently works as a district secretary of the women development forum. She is also a member of the district women council.


Nurunnahar has stopped over 20 underage marriages and numerous cases of discrimination in her community.


“We come to Nurunnahar when we see any injustice in our village”, says Rafiq, a community member, “she never disappoints, and that is why we’ve given her a title - the last card”.