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Small steps, big dreams

7 May 2021

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A year ago, 20-year-old Aisha and her family, who lives in Bhola district in Bangladesh, struggled to make ends meet, relying on her father’s income from work at an apparel factory. Aisha’s parents couldn’t afford to pay for her education beyond secondary school and so she faced the prospect of marriage instead. But Aisha had a dream – to find a job and help her family rise out of poverty.

When a classmate told her about UCEP’s fully-funded technical and vocational skills training programme, she was determined to make the most of the opportunity. The programme is supported by Standard Chartered Foundation, as part of the Futuremakers by Standard Chartered initiative. After completing a six-month Electronics Assembling Technician (EAT) course at UCEP Mirpur Technical School, Aisha is now an Assistant Technician at an engineering firm – a job she got with the support of UCEP’s Decent Employment and Entrepreneurship Development team.

Today, Aisha dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and running her own electronics shop, which will in turn support more girls like her. If it were not for the skills and competencies she has developed through hands-on training, she might not have been able to break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Due to COVID-19, her father has been laid off from his job. Just over a year ago, this would have been an impossible situation for Aisha’s family. But now, Aisha is able to support her family’s daily needs and her sibling’s education.

“This training equipped me for employment and brought me success. I have a lot of faith in myself now. I believe that there are many more steps to go to reach where I want to be. This training is just the first step to my success.”

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