With a hundreds of women benefiting from Zardozi’s programs, a woman like Farida Sorabi not only uplifts herself but also opens her arms for more women to earn a kind of respect which they never had experienced before.
Six years ago, Farida’s husband saw a back injury in a car accident and stopped working. Since he was the sole breadwinner of the family, their economic situation broke down and a lot of money was spent on his medical treatment. Farida was mentally affected by her husband’s sickness and overall home expenses. When she went to Pakistan for treatment, the doctors advised her to keep herself distracted with a suitable work.
Upon return, Farida decided to enroll in a literacy course where she studied until 6th grade and learned to read and write a little bit. At the meanwhile, she also asked Ministry of Women Affairs for financial support. MOWA told her about Zardozi and subsequently shared her contact information with the office. In 2013 her life would take a different turn.
Farida got introduced to business ideas in the Manbeh meetings, and gradually started to create her reputation for stitching and sewing good clothes. This gave Farida the courage to hire and train neighbors’ women who wished to learn tailoring from her. “More and more women urged to learn tailoring; therefore I had to build this large room. It wouldn’t be possible without Zardozi’s loan and my husband’s support,” says Farida. “Even this space is not enough. The business requires me to expand this place further to decrease the workload,” she added.
Farida says that she always reminds her trainees about the lessons learned and risks in business. “I remember when one time I let down a customer and suffered a huge loss. I did not look at my trainees work and submitted the products without proper check,” recalled Farida. She also pushes them to work hard because she believes that there is no gain without struggle and sacrifice.
What amazes us about Farida is her heartfelt sympathy and care for other disadvantaged women in her village. Farida advocates for the rights of poor women in her village when she visits her parents’ house. Most of the times, she visits her old neighbors and encourages their daughters to attend schools. She inspires them to work, and to become self-reliant. Farida says, “It hurts me to see women grieve in poverty and disrespect.” “I not only inform them about their rights but also show them different ways of helping themselves,” she added.
Six years ago Farida is not the same person anymore. She has her own home, a car and good running business. Her room is full of appreciation and recognition letters from Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI), and other organizations.
Farida will be soon displaying her products in an international exhibition in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This is not the first exhibition she attends. Farida Sorabi is the only client who has license from Afghanistan Investment Support Agency, and Municipality as well as the membership card of ACCI, which has allowed her to also participate in a lot of local exhibitions in different provinces of Afghanistan.