Here we share the latest news on our activities.
We hope to add more projects and stories in future!
Punoh is an internet-based business selling new and rarely used quality clothing and accessories. It is also a social business enterprise which uses its profits to help the underprivileged and needy in Bangladesh, where Punoh is based.
Punoh employees & Punomees: their stories
Punoh gives 60% of the sale price of items to sellers. The rest is used to cover staff costs and business overheads. All of Punoh’s Directors and many of its supporters give their time to Punoh voluntarily, and we are very grateful for their help.
As one of Punoh’s aims is to help the underprivileged (not just the rural poor) and give people opportunities they might not otherwise have, we hope to employ staff with that type of background.
Here are some of the personal stories of our beneficiaries and staff.
Devastatingly, three years ago Moshior, a rickshaw driver, lost his lower leg in a rickshaw accident. He was forced to go back to his village home in Nilpharmari to recover. But as sole income earner he needed to provide for his family – his wife and two young children who lived in Badda on the outskirts of Dhaka, and his elderly parents living in Nilpharmari. So, with strong spirit he learnt to drive a rickshaw again with an artificial leg – but because of his disability he was limited in how fast he could go and how far he could travel. The physical strain was taking a toll on his body and his income remained poor. He used to wait outside mosques in Badda and Gulshan, especially after tarabbi prayer during Ramadan – it was there that he first came to the attention of Punoh.
Punoh decided to provide Moshior with funds towards buying a battery-assisted rickshaw which needed less physical pedalling and would allow him to take better trips and earn more money. Punoh also negotiated a 2,000 taka discount with a rickshaw seller. Punoh was happy to hand over 38,000 taka towards the rickshaw costs. With some funds he had of his own and the discount given by the rickshaw seller, Moshior was able to take possession of the rickshaw in August. On mounting the rickshaw Moshior said: ‘I am really grateful to Punoh and all the people who have helped give me this chance to make my life easier and help me provide for my family’.
Soraya was Punoh’s first staff member. She was a young, recently married Master’s graduate – but without any work experience was finding it impossible to get on the career ladder. Moreover, she had a difficult relationship with her mother-in-law, and her husband was also erratic in his behaviour to her – at times she was obliged to go back to her parental home. She wanted a job to learn new skills, get work experience and also to get some independence and financial security.
Punoh took Soraya on as paid staff member and gave her experience in data input and manual book keeping; she gained essential computer skills, including the use of MS Word and Excel. Soraya also improved her social skills and confidence while at Punoh. She stayed at Punoh for some time before she had to leave to have a baby. She is now a happy mother and, thanks somewhat to her experience from working at Punoh, she has a job as a teacher at a good school in Dhaka.
Mintu joined Punoh with only an Intermediate level of education, reducing his chances of getting a job in today’s competitive environment. Yet he needed a job urgently as his elderly father had become paralysed and Mintu had two younger brothers to provide for. Mintu joined Punoh with a little bit of office experience, but while at Punoh he improved his skills substantially. For instance, he learnt about data input and management, web content management, and the use of social media for marketing. He also gained computer skills including the use of MS Word and Excel. He learned to identify textiles and improved his communication skills considerably. Having gained these skills Mintu was able, eventually, to obtain a job as a manager for a local property owner.
Note: Some names on this page have been changed in the interests of privacy.
Punoh hopes to continue to help the underprivileged through future projects. We are particularly interested in employment projects, and would welcome suggestions from you. Please contact us (visit our Contact page) if you have any projects that you think Punoh could help support.