34-year-old Meena, from Kabul province is one of the very first clients of Zardozi who joined the organization when it was newly established. Meena story begins as she was given in marriage to an old man when she was only 15 years old. Meena with her 7 children lives with her in laws who treat her more as a servant. She does all home chores on her own for 12 hours every day. Meena having suffered the unfair conditions of her life, had lost complete hope. She said, “After marrying, my happiness ceased to exist.
I thought this is my destiny and I have to live with it forever.” “One day when one of our neighbors came to our home said that there is an organization who help women to put an end to their miseries. I was very encouraged when the women told me a lot about the organization and how it had influenced her life positively.” Meena added.
Meena joined Zardozi secretly with the support of her sister in law with whom she had built good relations during her marriage life. Meena shared this problem with Zardozi who advised her to convince her family, because in a country like Afghanistan where the secret behind women’s success is ‘family’s support’, Zardozi aims to work closely with the families in order to seek their support in recognizing and valuing women’s role. Therefore, some of Zardozi staff members visited Meena’s house and spoke to them about how Zardozi helps women to improve their lives as well as informed them about its Community Based Services where Meena can go for receiving trainings and finding solutions to her problems.
Fortunately, Meena was able to continue to go to Zardozi tailoring trainings. She said, “I was able to learn a lot in less time, because I had learned preliminary tailoring skills from my mother but what I needed the most to know was how to sell my products.” Taking that into consideration, Zardozi linked her to markets and introduced her to join Zardozi’s exhibitions which enabled Meena to sell her products at good prices and find more customers.
Meena now handles tailoring business, works at her mini beauty parlor and also makes ayurvedic medicine which she had learned from an Indian woman who used to be her neighbor. She says, “My monthly income is 60,000/AFS which has facilitated a comfortable life for me and my family members.”