It brings us great joy to see clients with successful businesses, women who have grown from where they were a few years ago to where they are now – more confident and courageous than ever. They are breadwinners for their families, they pay for their children’s education, they take part in community problem solving, and altogether they are strongly empowered.
Activist women in Jalalabad were asked by their community to persuade the authorities to build a clinic in their village. Together the women submitted petitions to numerous Government offices, cajoled community leaders into giving their support, and finally found a philanthropist to donate a piece of land for the clinic. Everyone has now agreed and the clinic will be constructed in the New Year.
women are strongly motivated to set up a business to provide employment for the women in their communities who are less able to risk a business start-up. Mrs. Marina and Mrs. Naweeda are two women from Jalalabad province with strong entrepreneurship skills who recently set up new businesses employing many women from their communities.
Naweeda established a small workshop producing washing liquid which she sells locally at a price that is competitive with what is already on sale. She does her production in a corner of the yard of the family home. She employs three of her neighbours and her husband helps them by carrying the product to local shops or selling it directly in the market and by purchasing the raw materials.
Naweeda earns AFN 20,000 every month out of which she pays for the children’s schooling and other household expenses. She plans to expand her business so every month she puts something aside ready to invest in bigger and better equipment in the future.
“I dream that one day Afghanistan will have modern factories that equal those in other richer countries. It is a great joy to me to think that with my little effort here I am advancing the economic development of my country” Naweeda says.
Recently, Marina established a tailoring workshop and hired 8 women from her community to work with her. Long before she starting her workshop she used to tailor for herself and her family and she never thought in those days that she could earn enough to employ others through tailoring.
When she joined Zardozi she came to understand from training and from seeing others expanding their businesses that she too could start her own business. Marina is encouraged to find that not only is she actually a skilled tailor she is also a capable businesswoman.
“I am very happy that after many challenges finally, I have been able to turn my ordinary tailoring into a wonderful profession,” said Marina. She also added that she loves her work and she is happy seeing others satisfied with her products.
In her workshop, Marine and her employees work with velvet fabric to make festive and highly decorated garments and bed covers. They also design and make traditional bodice pieces and sleeve decoration pieces which are currently much in demand in the market.
“My customers used to travel to a neighboring country to buy party dresses and bed covers, but now they can get them from my workshop. It saves them time and money.” Said Marina