23-year-old Jamna and her husband, Vishnu, reside in a village called Laloo Kohli in Badin (Sindh, Pakistan). Like most young couples, Jamna and Vishnu had a dream; they wanted to build a home for themselves and their growing family before the mud house they were living in collapsed.
Jamna is the General Secretary of her Community Group and receives trainings from NGO’s that empower women from her village to plan their futures. This was how Jamna learnt about creating a “Vision Journey” where she and her husband mapped out their goals and ways to practically achieve them. The vision map involved a step-by-step plan that included finding employment, managing their expenses, educating their children while saving to build their dream house.
Vishnu, as a Bachelor’s Graduate and Jamna, with her 12th standard pass, were welcomed to teach at the local school till the principal of the school favored his own cousin for the job. The set back meant that their dream was shelved as the couple looked for other means of employment.
It took two years of working at the local school, working as a seamstress, farming and other employment for the couple to save enough to finally start construction. Today, they are the only two people to have a solid house in a village of mud houses.
Vishnu admits that nothing the couple has achieved could have been possible without his wife.
“The culture is very patriarchal in my village and men make most of the decisions but I make sure that Jamna and I take all our decisions together.”
The two of them want a bright future for their three children. Every night, Vishnu reads books with his eldest daughter who has already started working on her own Vision Journey that includes becoming a teacher one day.
Photos and text: ©Khaula Jamil/Oxfam Australia