When Jamila started Helena beauty parlour in her village in the province of Herat, there were no other beauty services for women there. On the few special occasions, women in the village would travel to the city to have their hair done, or to get made up.
Even today, Jamila’s parlour is the only one for miles around her village of Ghalwan. It fills her with pride when she sees clients coming from all over the region. She had always enjoying dressing up and putting on make-up, even as a little girl.
However, not too long ago, Jamila lived in utter poverty. She and her husband could hardly make enough to survive. She couldn’t imagine splurging on luxuries such as hairdressing and beauty services. There were a lot of women like her in Ghalwan, and even those who could afford to pay for these services had to travel for miles to the city, to get them.
Jamila saw an opportunity there. In February 2015, she joined a six-month beauty skill apprenticeship course with Zardozi. She also took the business training programme that Zardozi offered. Equipped with new skills and knowledge, she ventured into a beauty business in her village.
“With Zardozi’s help, I was able to set up a business. I bring a monthly income of 8,000 Afs which has helped me support my family, and pay off our debts,” she narrates. She also hopes to save money for her own medical treatment.
The beauty salon gained instant popularity. It has not only allowed Jamila to attain financial independence, but it soon became a place of social meetings for local women, who would come there to avail Jamila’s services and unwind.