Born in a low-income family, Shamim Javed has become a game changer ever since she has taken up ownership of her life. She begins her story with an arranged marriage to a high school dropout, even though she was a High School graduate herself. Her mother and father were uneducated, and the family was living on Rs.10,000 per month. However, once she got married, Shamim started working. She states, “I still hadn’t lost the colour of mehndi on my hands, when I started working from home.” Soon, she decided that while working at home was a good option, she needed to do more. Her husband was earning around Rs. 15,000 per month, but that wasn’t enough, since their family was growing and now also included three children, who all needed food, clothing and education. That’s when Shamim took a leap of faith and contacted Kaarvan Crafts Foundation through a number she had gotten off a promotional banner. Shamim joined the organization as a micro-entrepreneur sales agent who was responsible for creating market linkages between the field and the urban markets. Before she joined the organization, she was earning around Rs.20,000 and her husband was drawing around Rs.15,000. Today, after her work with the organization, she earns around Rs.35,000 and her husband draws around Rs.25,000. Their lives seem to have changed. Shamim’s training at Kaarvan centered around market ethics and business dealings. Today, she feels far more at ease in what she is doing than before. Not only is she more confident in her dealings, she is also more capable of dealing with the various problems that surface during her work. Ever since she has started work after her training with Kaarvan, she has also noted that people’s attitudes have changed. She notes that before, her character was often brought into question as people inquired as to why she was stepping out of the house. Community members often inquired about her motives, and talked about how she was ignoring her family and her children. However, today, she has become a community role model. Her children are in school, and her elder daughter is already dr eaming about getting an education from outside of Pakistan. Such is the change that Shamim was able to bring in her family.

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