Alo Goshami, her husband, Shamal Goshami and son live in Horintana village, Union Koilashganj, District Khulna, Bangladesh. Alo is a housewife, her husband is a day labourer, her son has dropped out of school and is unemployed. She was facing difficulties running her family’s day to day living expenses with the little income from her husband. Alo’s son dropped out from the school because of the financial crisis, and the family not being able to buy school books and pay the necessary education fees.
With the support from BASD, Alo became a member of Belli Self Help Group, receiving different kinds of training and education, especially the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course. After the training, she took a small loan from the BASD Project for Permaculture design. She leased a small piece of land from a neighbour, where she started cultivating organic vegetables using homemade compost and pesticides in the house compound and on the leased land.
Alo cultivated different varieties of vegetables including bottle gourd, tomatoes, brinjal, beans, chillies and various types of spinach. She cultivated mixed vegetables in raised beds, plain beds, hanging gardens, sack gardens and bottle gardens. She was able to collect nutritious and poison free vegetables from her gardens, using some for her family and selling the excess in the market. By selling her vegetables she had an alternative income source. Every week she was earning enough to pay her loan back to BASD. This way she was able to take a 2nd, 3rd and 4th loan from BASD and the Self Help Group. Together with her husband and son, they started developing permaculture design gardens which attracted many people from surrounding villages.
Her garden was excellent, neighbours and friends started coming to her to see her beautiful work and designed gardens. You can see the beautiful design of her for cultivation on the landland as well as in the water. Alo has happily expressed the beauty of permaculture design through her actions and techniques. Over time, Alo became a model gardener to Self Help Group members and many others. Alo is grateful to BASD for helping her to come to this lovely stage, for which she feels happy and proud.