“Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success”, believes 35 years old Nafisa- a mother of three daughters and three sons. Nafisa comes from Behsod district of Nangarhar province where she lives with her big family of ten people. Her husband is the only breadwinner, doing a small labor job which earns him 5000 AFS per month- not enough money to pay for all their bills.
Joining Zardozi became a turning point for an ordinary tailor Nafisa where she first stepped out of the four walls of her home, faced difficulties and took up the challenge to shape her life in a better way.
Among her other female friends, Nafisa grew her tailoring skills more rapidly. She bought two embroidering machines for her work. But to learn about its utilization she had to learn it from a professional tailor in the market.
Approaching the local shopkeepers, Nafisa was told that only men have the strength to operate these machines. “You are a woman. It is out of your capability,” she recalled of the shopkeeper’s words still buzzing in her ears. However, Nafisa says that she didn’t listen to his words and responded back with anger, “women and men have equal strength to work and earn money. I will prove it soon.”
Nafisa took the challenge, learned to run the machines, and applied for Zardozi loan to activate solar system in her house in order to avoid electricity problems. Her work gradually attracted other male tailors in the market who signed contracts with her and referred their customers to her.
With a big smile on her face and glitter of victory in her eyes, Nafisa says she showed her work to the tailor who had undermined women’s capability. “That sense of achievement was the best moment of my life,” she says.
Nafisa’s cleverness, energy and enthusiasm also led her to become tailoring assistant (namely service provider) to Zardozi business trainer in the Community Business Center (Manbeh). On Manbeh days, she guides other women on their tailoring skills for which she is also paid some money by the organization.
As part of Zardozi’s sustainability program, recognizing and hiring capacitated and diligent workers like Nafisa has helped the organization to sustain itself to some extent so that when there is no Zardozi, its operations will be still alive. Our objective is to create a cycle by empowering women with the right skills and self-confidence to run their societies and support other women.