Nurul Islam (46) has been a small nursery gardener since 1996. He is a father of four children, and two of his boys work with him. His daughter are currently students. Their family lives in the Solmait, Dhalibari area of Dhaka. In June of 2013, he lost his business from not being able to adjust to climate disaster. The crops he grew died repeatedly. The cost of renting his work van along with just buying crops day-to-day put his business under. Nurul Islam no longer could send his girls to school. He lamented, “there’s no need to pursue education, we’re poor.” Nurul Islam believed all was lost until gaining an opportunity to turn his business around.
Islamic Relief has been implementing a the ReWARD program targeting people just like Nurul Islam. The innovative project gives produce developers access to RoofTop gardening. It not only has improved business but made a “Green Dhaka” aiding the entire city in reducing harmful gasses. The training takes place in partnership with Sher-E-Bangla Agricultural University, Agargaon. Prof. Dr. Mahbubur Rahman educates program participants on the process of Roof Top Gardening, selection of fertilizer, pot selection, plant selection with seasons, vertical gardening, horizontal gardening, along with general roof care. Islamic Relief then distributed green vans to program participants.
Nurul Islam has all but replenished his business and with a smiling face said, “Now my daughters can continue their studies. I can provide food and clothing to my family which was at one time a dream to us.”