accessibility & help

Sahiba's story selling sweets so my children can eat

5 July 2012

A Red Cross livelihoods grant helped Sahiba, 26, reopen her shop after it was destroyed by the Pakistan floods. No longer reliant on her parents, she can cover her family’s basic needs.

Sahiba lives with her husband and four children. Before the floods, she was able to run a small shop from her house. After the ravaging floodwaters washed away all their belongings, the family had to rely her husband’s income.

As a casual labourer, Sahiba’s husband did not earn enough to support the six of them. Sahiba could only afford one meal a day for her children, so her parents had to cover the rest.

Back in business

Sahiba wanted to restart her business, but did not have the means to do so – until she was selected to receive a Red Cross grant. She was able to reopen a small-scale shop selling household items and sweets.

Because Sahiba has to also look after the home, her eldest son and husband help her with the business. As a woman she cannot go and buy stock for her shop, but her husband goes and buys goods from the city.

Their shop currently has no competitors in the area, and their business is running well. Sahiba can contribute to the family economy, feed her children from her own income, and even save some money to use if they get ill.

The Red Cross livelihoods programme in Pakistan has supported over 4,000 families with cash grants since June 2011. The British Red Cross has provided the funds and delegates to enable the programme to run.

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