Zobiada, 45, is a mother of five. Her husband is an old man who cannot work leaving her as the only wage earner for their family. To try to make ends meet, Zobiada worked for others. “I usually spent [my] days working in the homes of others, doing their cooking, their washing and their cleaning in an effort to provide money for the needs of my children,” she says. No matter how hard she worked, however, her income was never enough to cover even the family’s basic needs.
Thankfully, Zobiada lives in an area where World Vision Afghanistan is focused on working with vulnerable families, especially women through a programme called the Australia Afghanistan Community Resilience Scheme (AACRS), funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Australia.
One of the project’s objectives is to empower women by increasing their influence at household and community levels and increasing their income generating opportunities. To do this, the project established 16 women Producers Groups (PGs) with a total of 366 members in 2015. The members have been trained in vegetable cultivation and gardening as well as how to raise poultry. Today, these women are able to sell their produce in the markets and make an income for their families.
Thanks to this project, and the money she earns from selling her produce such potatoes, soybeans, wheat and turnips, Zobiada is able to provide for her family’s needs and even buy school supplies for her children.
“Before joining this group, I didn’t know anything about poultry and vegetable cultivation,”
“Before joining this group, I didn’t know anything about poultry and vegetable cultivation,” she says. “[And], I couldn’t send my children to school,” she says.
She is very happy that her dreams for her children may come true through the income she is making from the skills and knowledge she learned from World Vision. “I couldn’t go to school,” she says. “But I am very excited about seeing my children graduate in front of my eyes!” She adds, very happily.
In addition to production techniques, Zobida and other women have also received trained on literacy, bookkeeping and marketing skills which later on helped them establish Saving Groups. She and her groups’ members applied the knowledge that they had learned from the trainings and managed to $277 (USD) in just five months.
“All the Savings Group’s members sat together to think of a new business [that we could start] with this amount of money,” says Zobida. “Finally, we decided to open a local shop in our village,” she says.
In addition to being a trained famer, Zobaida is also running the small shop in her community, where culturally speaking, women’s social activities are still considered taboo.
“I am a skilled farmer and a shopkeeper who has a small business,”
“I am a skilled farmer and a shopkeeper who has a small business,” says Zobida, proudly. “I am sending my children to school using my own money. Using my harvest, I cook different food for my children. All of this is because of your support. Your assistance helped me to land on my feet. As a women, I am proud of myself and I want to work and invest as much as I can to make the future bright for my children,” she says.
Content provider: Mohammad Tariq Aziz, Marketing Specialist