'We had to go through a lot of hardships' - Bilkis' story

March 25, 2015

For more than 30 years, Traidcraft has been committed to helping smallholder farmers in poverty-stricken areas of developing countries to work and trade their way out of poverty. We give them the knowledge, investment and confidence to grow more, earn more and eat more.

Our Fair Necessities Appeal highlights just how hard many smallholder farmers work, and yet they are still unable to feed their families or provide life's basic essentials that so many of us take for-granted.

Traidcraft has so many inspirational stories of the people, the families and the communities we have supported over the years – but sadly there are still so many more that desperately need our help.

One smallholder farmer currently working with Traidcraft in Bangladesh is 26-year-old Bilkis Khatu, mum to five-year-old Sadia and one-year-old Sakiba. Just two years ago, prior to working with Traidcraft, the only way Bilkis and her family could survive was to send Sadia out to neighbours’ homes begging for food. 


Bilkis says: “My days were arduous and gruelling because my husband wasn’t working. We had very little income and had to go through a lot of hardship. I could not give enough food to my children. They were young, so used to cry a lot. Being the mother it was hard to bear it. I could not listen to the crying. Sometimes I sent Sadia to bring food from neighbours.”

Sadia, Bilkis' daughter

Now, with the help of Traidcraft, Bilkis and her husband have their own smallholding, growing vegetables for local markets. Traidcraft helped the family learn new, more effective farming techniques and now the family can put food on the table and provide for Sadia and her sister.

Bilkis cooking

Bilkis continued: “Now I am happy. I can give delicious food to my children three times a day and can also take care of their education.”

Bilkis & family in front of their house

Please donate now to our Fair Necessities Appeal and help us to help smallholder farmers like Bilkis across the developing world.

Until 3rd April, your generosity will be doubled by the UK government. That means:

  • DOUBLE the number of farmers to whom we can offer the training, skills and knowledge needed to increase yields, profits and quality of life
  • DOUBLE the number of children who can look forward to an education, to health care and enough food to eat
  • DOUBLE the number of farming communities that can start to learn from each other, become profitable and grow into sustainable, thriving local economies for years to come.

Donate now