Meet Nasreen Safdar. Married at the age of 16, she was already the mother of her daughter Iqra, by the time she was 18. Her parents were able to send her to school where she finished 8th grade, but then was forced to drop out to care for her family.

Now 35, Nasreen has 4 children. Her husband works at the fields, harvesting rice and wheat, and making roughly 5000 Pakistani rupees a month – barely enough for their household of six.

Without a complete education or any kind of skills, Nasreen had no means of working to support her husband and contribute to the family income. But the ambitious couple are very committed to giving their children the education and future that they themselves could not have. All four of their children go to school!

Since she enrolled in BLISS 3 months ago, Nasreen is already making about 3000 Rupees a month, which is 60% of the income her husband makes. Nasreen’s husband, as well as her parents, are thrilled at her contribution. She uses the money on her children — on their books, clothes, food and school fees.

Nasreen’s work with BLISS has also instilled a sense of great pride and dignity in her. She says being able to use a skill to earn for yourself is a feeling she had never experienced before and that gives her much joy every time she takes home money for the month. She thinks all women should learn a skill and get an education so that they can sustain themselves and cope with difficult times.

Nasreen’s biggest dream is to educate her children and give them a beautiful future. She especially wants her now 17-year old daughter to go to college, and get a job that secures her future.

MisbahHere is Misbah Shafi. She is 20 years old, and dropped out of school after 8th grade because her family could not pay for her school fees.

In Misbah’s family of five — her 2 sisters, her parents and herself — there is no earning member in the household. Her father is old and frail, and cannot go out to make a living. Her family supports themselves through a small monthly contribution from one of her married brothers. This is barely enough for them to get by.

With Misbah now bringing money into her household, her parents and siblings see hope for their future. They support her work at BLISS, and encourage her to be a part of it. She uses this income to buy clothes for herself, medicines for her parents, and to meet other household needs. She feels great pride in being able to support her family through her hard work and dedication.

Misbah dreams of one day finishing her education, supporting herself, and educating her future children.