Hawa lives in Katakhali Village, Barobaishdia Island, Patuakhali, Bangladesh. She was born in Rangabali Village (in the neighboring island) to a family of eight children in total, four boys and four girls. She is not sure about her age but was probably born around 1989. Neither Hawa nor her siblings had the opportunity to go to school; they worked for other people from a young age. Her family did not have any land so they had to farm other peopleâ€™s land and work for others to survive. She was married at age 10 or 11. She has two children, a girl (born 2003), and a boy (born 2007), both of whom go to school.
Hawa survived cyclones SIDR and AILA in 2007 and 2009 by taking shelter in the Health Clinic built by Samhati. She is a member of the Katakhali cooperative, funded by Samhati. She has been taking literacy classes at the cooperative and first learned to read there. She has also learned vegetable and fruit gardening from the cooperative. She has 10 papaya plants and four cows. Her husband and she run a tiny shop selling tea, biscuits, sugar and small items; it is one of only two shops in the village. Hawa is very proud that she is learning to read and write.