FATIMA

Just work and minds will
change slowly but surely
– as they see our
livelihoods getting better

My name is Fatima Batool. I am mother of 3 daughters, 3 sons; an artisan and a micro-entrepreneur. Today, I am humbled to be part of something bigger than myself as I work with various local supply chains and am able to share my business and my learning with many women.

It wasn’t always like this as five years ago my family and I were struggling make ends meet. I then, had two options: I could either accept this and mould my hopes for a better life for my children accordingly, or I could on the least put in all my effort and leave the rest to God. I chose the latter. Because by the end of my life I knew I did not want to be in a position where I would blame myself for not even trying to make my childrens lives better. I had developed a liking for embroidery and other thread embellishments. With time, I got skilled at this work and began to work on a small handicrafts projects. I supplied these only to the local community of my village since my business had not yet developed properly. As I supplied to more customers, naturally, I made more contacts. I could feel a sense of independence, of the freedom to choose, of greater control over my life- but still, I was not earning enough to support my family. As fate chose, I supplied to a client who referred me to Kaarvan. From this point on, my life spiraled in a way I could hardly comprehend. It was all God’s plan in action for all the hard work I had done in all these years.

At that time things were different at home. Despite earning and setting up my own business, I was still confined in the limitations that were imposed on me. My family could still not look at my abilities past my gender. These five years hence had not been easy for I had spent them hiding from my family (with the help of other women around) whenever I had to attend the trainings. Today, I am on the other side. I have left my past far behind me and am ready to take on what future holds for me.

In my determination towards my dreams, I am unstoppable. I will no longer be dettered by the restrictions blindly imposed on me. With Kaarvan team’s assistance, I have now become an integral part of the local clothing supply chains. My work is in high demand and while I expand my business, I am also working to improve my quality. My business is blooming, and so is my personal growth. The confidence that my business has given has enabled me to completed my education that I had left mid way and attain a Matriculation degree. It was a proud moment for I had truly come a long way. It’s hard to believe even for myself that the once timid me now has her own business and bright future for my kids!