Morsheda is a young mother of four. Her husband has left. She has little land, few assets, and no savings. Living on a low-lying island on the Brahmaputra river, floods are a terrifying part of her everyday life. The single room, corrugated-iron shack she shares with her family has been flooded four times.
Her three daughters and her young son know the dangers the floods bring. One year, huge waves crashed against their house giving her less than an hour to uproot their home and scramble to safety. Racing against time, she gathered her terrified children together and hastily made a raft from a banana tree. At any moment, it could have tipped and plunged them into the swirling waters. She put her youngest child in a cooking pot and clung to it as it floated in the current.
Each year, the floods threaten to sweep away the little she has. Without livestock and a safe place to tend animals and grow crops, the only income Morsheda can get is from doing hard manual labour for as little as 74p a day.
Morsheda’s life is a constant battle, but her faith and her love for her children mean it’s one she’s passionate about fighting.
‘I don’t know where I get my strength to fight on, but I am blessed to have it.
‘God is supporting me. If he wasn’t I would nothave survived. He has given me the support of my neighbours.’
Feroza used to live a life marked by despair and fear. River floods swept away her home seven times. Each time, she, her husband and their three children picked up the pieces and started again. But in 2011, the raging waters left the family with nothing but a goat and the bamboo walls of their tiny house.
A Home Safety Package from Christian Aid changed her life. A grant helped to construct an earth plinth on which to rebuild her home, safely out of reach of future floods. For the first time, her life was free from fear. The grant also meant she could buy a cow, a goat, ducks, chickens, vegetable seeds and a composting wormery. Day by day, these increased her income and her confidence – she’s since turned her original investment into assets worth 10 times the original amount.
‘I couldn’t imagine that this kind of change could
happen. I am hard working, but a little bit of money
can really change things.
‘What I have received from Christian Aid has changed
my life. I never dreamed of it. I think it is a blessing.’
Today, Feroza’s family are healthy and thriving, and she no longer needs charity support.