Abda’s Story

Mar 5, 2018

Abda grew up in a rural village in Pakistan. She was just 14 years old when she was married to a much older man. Our project gave her confidence, better knowledge of health issues and her rights as a woman.

“I was so worried given that I had faced many difficulties at an early age. I used to do work at home, until a health literacy centre was opened in my village by a Women’s Health Committee [through Feed the Minds’ project]… I started coming to the health literacy centre because I am very fond of reading and writing but I hadn’t completed my education due to early marriage [aged 14]…

“I learnt about the health of mother and child regularly with great interest. I also learnt to write and read my name and my family member’s names, the correct method of hand-washing, and to drink boiled water. I applied these methods in my home, and also told the other women about the fact they should drink boiled water and wash their hands with soap properly.”

Abda, one of the women supported by our recently completed Health Literacy Project for Women in Pakistan, implemented by our local partner, National Rural Development Prorgamme (NRDP).

Abda grew up in a rural village in Pakistan, where she worked from an early age instead of going to school due to poverty. She was just 14 years old she was married to a much older man, who didn’t work and would beat and abuse her when she asked him to find work, and who later divorced her.

When Abda was selected to be a Health Literacy Learner as part of our project, it gave her confidence, better knowledge of health issues and her rights as a woman.

She married again at 19 and now has a daughter, and has been able to use much of the knowledge she learnt to improve her and her family’s health. When she was pregnant she made sure to get regular check-ups. She has also improved her diet, household hygiene and her family’s health. And now, she feels determined to pay special attention to her daughter’s education, to improve her future prospects.

The Health Literacy Centre has given Abda confidence, better knowledge of health issues and her rights as a woman.


This 3-year project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and aimed to improve the health of pregnant women and their children in 150 rural communities in Narowal District , where no trained health providers were available. The project provided capacity building and training on maternal, child and general health issues to 8,100 people. Individuals and groups disseminated health information and supported members of their communities to access health services.

Read more about this project in our paper: Does technology help or hinder low literacy communities engage in health projects.

With your support, our project could empower even more women and adolescent girls like Abda by providing them with potentially life-saving knowledge on mother and child health. Click here to make a donation. Thank you.