The Urban Women's Development Project

The Urban Women’s Development Project supports extremely poor women and families in the cities of Gazipur and Mymensingh. Using the model used in the Rural Integrated Development Projects, the Urban Women’s Development Project encourages women to expand their income sources and improve their lives through education, training and micro-savings. 


Gita's Story

Gita and Lakkhan have five daughters and two sons. For the last 25 years their home has been in the middle of Kalebari Slum in Mymensingh. The pollution of the city has taken its toll on Lakkhan, who has suffered from asthma for 15 years. With his ill health affecting his work, the couple has struggled constantly to feed and educate their children.

One day a staff member from Symbiosis’ Urban Women’s Development Project came to Kalebari Slum and invited Gita and 24 others to learn to read and write at a Functional Education Class. During their study the women started the ‘Belly Women’s Savings Group’, and began depositing a small amount of money into the collective savings.

After some time Gita took a 2,000Ttk ($30) loan from the group and started a shopping bag business. The profit she made allowed her to repay the loan and look after her family. After six months Gita took another loan to invest in the business, and later, a third loan to purchase a cow. Now Gita is the proud owner of four cows from that one. Gita says that her poverty has reduced and that her family are living peacefully and well. Gita’s entrepreneurial spirit and hard work, supported by Symbiosis, has transformed their urban family.