A young widow turns to desperate measures in order to provide for her young children. However, a chance encounter leads her to a Tearfund project – giving her the opportunity to lift herself and her family out of poverty.
Shoira* is a 27-year-old mother of two from the Central Asian States. As is common in her culture, she got married when she turned 17. Her husband would often travel to Russia to work as a migrant labourer, because finding a job where they lived was almost impossible. He rarely saw his own family.
One day, Shoira’s husband didn’t come back on time. She later learned that he had become ill and died in another country. Suddenly, at a very young age, Shoira had become a widow, totally unable to provide for her two little children. Her relatives could do nothing to help as they themselves were living in poverty.
No other way
Shoira desperately needed money, but with no education her prospects were bleak. With nowhere else to turn, she agreed to dance in a strip bar. It was the last thing she wanted to do, but she could see no other way out.
God, however, had other ideas. Shoira stumbled on a seamstressing course run by a Tearfund partner when she was ordering a dress for herself. As she got to know the people there she noticed something different about them – they treated her with love and respect.
A lady called Surayo*, who ran the project, shared her story with Shoira. Surayo used to be beaten by her own family, and was forced to move to a different area. The seamstressing course gave her the opportunity to start again.
‘This was the chance’
The kindness shown by Surayo and the other women there touched Shoira’s heart; she was truly impressed that these people kept helping others in spite of what they had experienced themselves.
‘I always knew that my way of living was wrong, but I could not find any way out of it,’ Shoira explains. ‘But when I met Surayo and the other ladies I realised that this was the chance given to me by Almighty God.’
For the first time ever, Shoira realised that there was hope for her. She is no longer working in the bar; instead, she is completing the sewing training course. The people running the project have been so impressed by her hard work that they plan to employ her once she finishes her training.
* Name changed to protect identity
Pray for Shoira and her children – that poverty will no longer hold them back and that their lives will be filled with opportunity, joy and peace.
Pray that more people will be introduced to projects like this one around the Central Asian States.
Thank God for Surayo and the other women at this project; for their kindness and strength.