Amena, 35 Gazipur, Bangladesh
After working as a servant for several years, Amena joined a rural maintenance program. The program guaranteed Amena a job for four years, so long as she saved 20 percent of her income and participated in extensive human rights, health, literacy and small-business management training sessions. Upon completing the program, she had saved 12,000 taka, roughly $180, most of which she used to purchase a cow. She later sold the cow for 16,000 taka and eventually built her herd to six cows. Today, in addition to the income from her cows, she grows rice on 25 acres of rented land. She wishes to ultimately own this land and double her herd.
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