Ninety-seven per cent live on less than $2 per day in Pakistan and for women the deal is even tougher. Young women like Amira are engaging local markets to sell their own products and empowering their peers to do the same.

I am now more confident and I can negotiate with buyers in the market. In our group we support each other to ensure that we are improving our quality.” I am now more confident and I can negotiate with buyers in the market. In our group we support each other to ensure that we are improving our quality.”

Imagine a world where you can’t choose your own clothes, spend your own wages, and your voice not heard. This is a reality for many like Amira. Only 11% of women are in paid employment, and Amira was desperate to earn a meaningful income and be independent.

“I picked cotton during the season and it was tiring work. I used to work 10 hours per day, and I only earned 100 rupees (70p).”

Aged 25 and with four children it seemed living in poverty and isolation was going to be a way of life for Amira and her family.

However, her life was transformed when she was taught the traditional skill of embroidery, patchwork and appliqué, enabling her to become an entrepreneur and sell quilts in nearby urban markets.

“Through the training I learned new designs and stitches. I am now more confident and I can negotiate with buyers in the market. In our group we support each other to ensure that we are improving our quality.”

I’ve visited Karachi twice and gained exposure to the city, the markets and trends. We will spend a lot of time in the next year develop our links and trying to find buyers.”

Amira, as a successful entrepreneur, now has an amplified voice in her community and her household.

“Because of the increase in my income through my sales I’m able to contribute to my family’s income. Now I am supporting my husband and I have more say in our household decisions.”

Amira also attended sessions in numeracy and basic literacy – laying vital foundations for entrepreneurship and employment.

“Before the project I wasn’t interested in education. I had never been to school and I didn’t think it was important for girls and women. But the happiest moment I have had in in this project was when I completed my literacy training and I was able to write my own name.”

You can create more life-affirming moments like this by donating today.