Dear donors, supporters and friends,
I am writing to share the latest progress on the development of our project of village Khairo Dero, district Larkana, Pakistan.
We started our housing project in May with the construction of a home for two sisters and their families who have lived without shelter for years. This was the first of 20 families in the village who are living out in the open and are in need of homes.
As part of our central principle of community participation, we spent the past two years motivating these families to contribute to their homes by providing the labor and paying for masonry services while we provide construction materials.
Nabab and Manzoora, the two sisters for whom the first house was constructed, have 13 family members in all. Nabab was widowed some years ago and Manzoora’s husband is terminally ill. The women and girls in the family embroider handicrafts and two young sons work as casual labor to earn a total household income of about 6,000 rupees ($70) a month.
“For 20 years we have tried to build a home but whatever we are able to earn, goes in food and illness costs,”
Manzoora said. “We never thought in our dreams that we would have a home like this and even though we’re living in these rooms, we still can’t believe this is our home. By doing the labor ourselves, we feel like we contributed our own blood too.”
Architect Arif Hasan very kindly donated his time and effort to design a low cost home for us and the family worked themselves to construct it. The total cost of the materials used to build two rooms, a toilet, a shower room and a kitchen was 185,000 rupees ($2150).
We request your support once again to help us raise funds to build homes for the other families. If we can construct even a few more homes before the monsoon rains begin, at least some families will have shelter.
In May, we also began our adult literacy program for women. We enrolled 100 women in classes of 25 each and four young women from the village were trained by the National Commission for Human Development in imparting adult literacy.
The five month course is being conducted in partnership with the Commission; our trust contributed 50,000 rupees ($600) toward the monthly stipend for the teachers and the commission provided all the books and training materials.
In June, we also began a microloan program for women to help promote economic empowerment. Courtesy of one our donors who funded this program, we gave out two interest-free loans of 15,000 rupees ($175) each to two women in the village.
Nasira Soomro, a 42-year-old mother of four, and Wazeera Khatoon, a 45-year-old mother of four, embroider traditional caps to supplement their husbands’ income from casual labor.
When we gave Nasira her loan disburement of 15,000 rupees, she bought fabric, glass and thread to make caps from the city, eliminating the middle man and overcoming the problem she had faced for years–being unable to work on more than one or two caps because she didn’t have the capital to buy material.
She bought material for 50 caps (at the rate of 20 rupees per caps) spending 10,000 rupees. She then sold material for 30 caps at a profit of 40 rupees per cap to other embroiderers in the village, giving her gross revenue of 7,200 rupees and a profit of 1,200 rupees on those. She kept the material for the other 20 caps for herself, made them and then sold them onward for 350 rupees each, getting gross revenue of 7,000 and a profit of 2,000. With the remaining 5,000 rupees from the loan installment, she bought 20 unstitched pieces of fabric (@250 rupees each) and sold them in the village for 300 rupees each, making a gross revenue of 6,000 rupees and a profit of 1,000. Thereby, her total profit was 4,200 rupees for the month.
She returned 1,250 rupees as her loan installment and used the remaining 2,950 to buy food provisions for her family. “Returning the installment and having control over money to spend makes me feel more empowered than ever,” Nasira said.
When we gave Wazeeran her loan disburseent of 15,000 rupees, she bought raw material for 50 caps (at the rate of 200 rupees each), spending 10,000 rupees. She made 20 caps herself and sold them for 350 rupees each, making gross revenue of 7,000 rupees and profit of 3,000 rupees. She kept the material for the other 30 caps to stitch next month and has carried over the remaining 5,000 rupees from her loan. She returned her instalment of 1,250 rupees and used the remaining 1,750 toward her home grocery bill.
We hope to begin construction of a community hall this summer where we can hold the adult literacy classes, start vocational training for women and computer classes as well as a library for the youth. For the first phase we need about 1 million rupees ($12,000) and as always, look forward to your most generous support. Please do send us your thoughts, suggestions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you. With deepest gratitude from all of us and blessings from the people of Khairo Dero,
Naween A. Mangi