- Haleema Parhe overcame a hand deformity and educational challenges in her remote village in Tharparkar to pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
- Her early passion for sewing, despite her handicap, led her to learn the skill from elderly women in her village.
- Through an entrepreneurship course provided by YEEEP, a collaborative initiative of the Sindh Education Foundation and UNDP Pakistan, Haleema gained crucial skills, transformed her life, and successfully started her stitching and embroidery business, earning Rs15,000 in a month.
Born with a hand deformity, Haleema Parhe was unable to pursue her education beyond the fifth grade due to the absence of schools in her remote village.
However, these hurdles did not deter the determined 30-year-old from her dream of acquiring a skill and becoming an entrepreneur.
At an early age, Haleema found her passion for sewing by observing elderly women in her village, Soomra Colony, crafting clothes for themselves and their community.
Initially, her handicap made operating a sewing machine and threading a needle seem insurmountable, but with the unwavering support of her family, she persevered.
Today, she adeptly operates the sewing machine, using one arm to spin the wheel and the other to guide the fabric under the needle.
In September, Haleema’s life took a transformative turn when she was chosen to participate in an entrepreneurship course offered by the Youth Education Employment Empowerment Project (YEEEP).
This initiative, a collaboration between the Sindh Education Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan, marked a significant milestone in her journey. Prior to this training, Haleema had limited knowledge of entrepreneurship and was hesitant to embark on her business venture.
Under the guidance of dedicated trainers, she acquired skills in public speaking and developed a newfound sense of empowerment and self-belief. Her fellow trainees provided invaluable support in establishing contacts for her stitching business.
In just over a month after completing the program, Haleema earned Rs15,000 ($54) from her stitching and cutwork embroidery services, securing new clients from nearby villages through phone calls.
Devi Khatri, a mentoring officer involved in the training, remarked on the exceptional motivation and skill displayed by Haleema.
She explained, “Before the training, Haleema had a business but lacked access to potential clients. During the course, she learned vital strategies to advance her business, expand her reach, and manage orders more efficiently. She diligently applied these lessons, resulting in a substantial increase in her earnings.”
With aspirations of opening her own shop, Haleema is surrounded by a supportive family. Her brother, Allah Jurio, now assists in securing and delivering orders to neighbouring villages. Haleema’s mother, Raheema, played a pivotal role in her journey by purchasing the sewing machine, driven by a dream that her daughter could achieve financial independence.
In an interview with Arab News, she shared, “Haleema’s passion, interest, and unwavering dedication have brought her to this point. I wholeheartedly supported her and prayed for Allah’s blessings upon this exceptional child. I hope that, after my time, she will have the means to earn a livelihood independently.”
Devi Khatri, Haleema’s mentor, aptly summed up her remarkable journey: “There is a saying that those who do not have lines on their palms are also blessed with good fortune. Haleema personifies this notion. While we are granted two hands by Allah, not all of us possess the skills she has. Haleema stands as a role model for Tharparkar and an inspiration to all.”
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Source: Arab News Pakitan