This is how we are changing lives.
Life is like a river full of downs that always drowns humans in it. But sometimes humans, by the use of their mind, save themselves from these adversities. I asked her to tell me some memories of her life. She smiled and told me her life story.
“My life is full of sorrows and pains. I have tolerated lots of pains from the beginning of my life. My in-law's family were very oppressive people and they beat me a lot. 2 years had passed from the start of my marriage. My husband went to Pakistan to find lawful food. During those days I borrowed money for alimony for my children. And I was solving the family problems. After 3 months my husband came back to Kabul. At that time the regime had changed and the country was under the power of the Taliban. We emigrated to Kohistan. There we faced lots of difficulties. Once, suddenly, the Taliban knocked on the door and arrested my husband in case he was keeping a weapon. They behaved very rudely and they took my husband with them. After some days my husband came back home. They had beaten him a lot and he was in bed for several months. Actually there was no criminal record found against him and no crime was ever proven, but they charged him money with no crime committed. We were suffering very greatly. We had no money for our alimony and they were asking for money. We had to sell the house equipment to collect money for them. All the equipments were sold and nothing was left. Then my husband went to Iran to work and earn money. In Iran he was doing heavy work. The beating he received by the Taliban injured his body and he wasn’t able to do heavy work. He went to the doctor and the doctor advised him that he shouldn’t have to do heavy work anymore because his liver no longer worked and he cannot move anymore. He became really disappointed and he was in the hospital again. He borrowed money for his treatment. Because he wasn’t able to do heavy work he came back to Kabul. In order to find food I had to send my small children outside to work to earn money. And he is selling water. When I heard about the AWC loan program I registered my name for the loan. By receiving the loan I started to work on it. I am sewing clothes and for each suit I am charging about 150 af and from my income I am paying the daily expenses and covering my children's needs. I am not too needy because now I have the ability to work and to have my own income. And I’ll improve my work in the future if God is willing. I hope that our loan program will increase so that we will have good income in the future."
1. Are you under the violence of your husband and family?
I was under the violence of my in-law’s family. They were oppressing me a lot. At that time I had nothing to do and our economical condition was very weak. Now I am independent and I am standing in my own feet and don’t need their assessment.
2. In which skills are you interested?
I am interested in many skills such as bakery skills, sewing clothes, knitting and beading knit.
3. Loan which you received?
First, second and third.
4. What works are you providing from the loan?
I am buying wood and I am doing bakery work from the loan. I am cooking the neighbor's bread. For each bread I am charging 8 rupees. From its income I can cover the house expenses.
6. What changes in your life have you experienced after receiving the loan?
When I received the loan I started to work and my life changed. I was able to cover house expenses and the needs of my children. I am paying the weekly installment of the loan. And I sent my children back to school because I could cover their school expenses. At first I was really needy. I bought the house materials such as curtains, carpet and food items.
7. What request do you have from Afghanistan Women Council?
I hope that our loan program increases so that I can start another business.
Here is an old proverb - Who Sees the Hungry Graves. This proverb really matches the living condition of Aziza, When I looked at Aziza, I thought that she was only a body and her soul had gone. I thought to myself that am I dreaming. I was depressed in her painful sea. When I saw her, she was crying, and then she started to present her life story with a vibrating voice.
"I am a woman who tolerated lots of pain and sorrow in my life. When i was single and was living with my family, our economic condition was at the worse level and my father had mental illness and was a patient. His behavior was realy rude. He used violent language with the rest of the family members and my mother was also suffering very badly from this situation, All these were due to our worse economic condition."
Aziza was 14 years old when she got married to a man of age 36. Despite the age diffrence Aziza hoped that she would breathe freedom in her husband house, but this was not the case. Her husband was working as a gardner with a low monthly income. With the passage of time, Aziza’s husband got addicted to drugs. During this time Aziza was the mother of 3 children, a parlyized son and 2 daughters.
"Due to our bad economic life we couldn‘t feed our children in a right manner and i borrowed money from my relatives to provide food for my children“ Afterwards Aziza felt that she should take part in her families economic life, so with a lot of resistance from her husband and facing many problems, she Joined one of the committees in Kart-e-Naw – KBL with the aim to be able to read and write and add to her skills of tailoring with the support of other committee members and she finaly started to do something for the lives of her children. After successfuly completing the training cycle, she had closely worked with the business trainer and joined a group of tailors in order to work with them in partnership.
Now Aziza says "Thanks, I have gained a lot of skills in tailoring and i can read and write properly. I am working in partnership with a group of tailors and they are paying me 100 Afs per clothing. I am realy happy to contribute to my family's income and most importantly to the education of my children as I know the importance of education now“.
She is 35 years old and a single mother of eight children, 5 girls and 3 sons. She is living in Qala-e-Wahid area of Kabul city. Aqila was really far removed from an open and educated society. She had no information or awarness about being a literate woman in society, or what steps are necessary to take in order to be an active part of a society. She was unaware of how to be a pillar in strenghtening the ecnomic life of her family, of women rights, children rights and so on...
Aqila was living in very poor economic conditions. She was not able to feed her younger children properly. The only source of income that her family had was her husband, who was working as a laborer in a factory. After some time the factory stopped working and Aqila‘s husband did nothing to search for a new job or to work to earn money.
Aqila didn’t have the ability or patience to see her children go hungry, She decided to do something in order to come out of the bad situation that her family faced. Yasameen, who is a relative of Aqila, instilled courage and confidence in Aqila to join the Women Committee in her district. Yasameen was already a member of the committee.
Aqila Joined the committee and with the support of her family and with the aim to become a self sufficient and literate woman. She begam to gain progress from the literacy and business trainings and became an active member. After completing the training cycle Aqila says “Now I can read and write in Dari and now i am able to read books. Aqila increased her skills in food processing. In addition to the support she gets from the business trainer of AWC, her time in the center helped her to socialize with her children. Aqila is now a grantee of the project and a professional in processing different kinds of pickles and dairy. Eventually a super store offered her an opportunity to prepare bottles of pickles so the store will share profit with her. She earns 50 Afs oer bottle of pickles. Now Aqila is able to cover all the expenses of her family and she is searching to develop her business and look for more opportunities.