A Young Man’s Dream

Climate Change Programme

Jan 22, 2023

"After learning about Nature-based Solutions, my business is finally flourishing. Now, I am able to support my family, and alongside I am raising awareness on the importance of mental health among my community members." - Asan Ullah, Farmer, CCDM Programme

17-year-old Asan Ullah is a young farmer in a small community of Gabura. Being a member of a struggling family with no source of income made him realize that a secure livelihood was a distant possibility. His distress was doubled when his amateur business venture failed.

Right after the fishing industry was slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Asan’s father, who was the sole breadwinner of his family, suffered a massive loss in business. As a result, he retired and was struggling to support the five members of his family. They were no longer as solvent as they had been. Asan’s life became difficult when he began a small business with the assistance of his father, but it failed due to infrequent income. The family had to go without food at times, let alone meet other necessities, like Asan’s education.

Asan, and many others living in coastal areas like Gabura lack stable sources of income, which limits their social mobility and financial security. After going through the most challenging periods, Asan was subsequently inspired to advance, overcome all challenges, and create a brighter future.

It was through SAJIDA’s Climate Change and Disaster Management program’s community officers that Asan was able to learn about Rainwater Harvesting, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), and Salt Tolerant Agriculture Practices and Nature-based Solutions. Asan has already begun growing vegetables in his backyard using the knowledge he gained from the training.

Furthermore, after attending the MHFA training, he advocated for the mental health of his fellow villagers who were experiencing serious issues. Asan has already been successful in helping some of his neighbors, and he now aspires to become a well-known mental health first-aider in his village.

While Asan didn’t have commercial success as a businessman, he is now a prosperous farmer and a successful mental health first-aider in his small community of Gabura.