Even without help, Fatima set to work rebuilding her home. Neighbours would observe her with suspicion because it’s unusual for women to do physical work. But Fatima didn’t care. ‘They call me The Iron Lady’, she laughs.
But Fatima's resolve paid off when she sought financial support from Tearfund. To qualify, Fatima had to apply and interview. She gained a glowing reference from the community leader. He’d seen her carrying concrete blocks and confirmed that Fatima was a hard worker. Her application was enthusiastically granted.
‘I was so happy, I felt like I was flying,’ says Fatima. ‘I’d like to say thank you to Tearfund partners. They awarded me a loan. From that I was able to build a shop and buy stocks. I can now work and earn an income.’
The grant spurred Fatima on to build a thriving local shop selling food and household goods. ‘It's a lifeline provided by God,’ she says. ‘Some days I have many customers.’ Fatima is prepared to put in the hours, keeping her shop open until midnight if people want to buy goods.