AWC has established a new Handicraft Department. Many stories of success have emerged from the many programs offered by AWC. Here are a few of them with photos showing the many handicrafts, trade-training, classes, and programs that are assisting Afghan women, children and familes.
CLASSES, VOCATIONAL TRAINING, LOANS
Alia Hussein, 33, lives around Parcha 6 area of Charikaar city with her unemployed husband and her four children. Alia lost her father during the communist regime more that 22 years ag., Her forced marriage came afterwards and those years of marriage were full of pain and suffering. Lack of food in the house was considered to be Alia’s mistake which has led her to a serious depression. The jeering of her husband and father-in-law complicated her life. Alia was contacted by AWC community mobilization officers after she was identified by local leaders to be the poorest of the poor in Parcha 6 area of Charikaar City.
“Now I can read and write in Dari” says Alia after completing eleven months of literacy and numeracy classes, and attended beautification skills for five months in parallel. In addition to the support she gets from the professional psychosocial councilors of AWC, she says her time in the center helped her to socialize with her peers. Last month, Alia got credit from her friends to rent a small shop in her living place and the materials provided to her enabled her to open her small beauty salon together with three other group members. The business was promising to her as she has already started to cover some of her family expenses, “My life has changed so much, now I have started to buy some bread whenever I get back home.”
Asia is 32 year old and she has 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. She is originally from Kapisa province, presently living in the Charikar city of the Parwan Province. She had a very poor economic and domestice violence situation at home. She had no knowledge of child or husband rights. She could not provide healthy food for her children and could not imagine such changes in her family life.
She enrolled in a course through the AWC survey team. They most valuable work of AWC is the support she received from the ECD program because her children received nitrition from the ECD program's food schedule. She saw more changes in her children's health.
She learned tailoring skills from AWC and has a good income. She is very happy to have achieved her skills and to receive health and hygiene education from AWC programs. The level of sickness in her children's lives has decreased. She can provide her children's school requirements such as stationary, cloths, and fees from her income. She also pays her loan installments on a regular basis.
She sews 4 pairs of women cloths per day and earns 220 AFA/day. She added that "The level of domestic violence has decreased in her home through the suppor of AWC.
Dewa, 22, is married to a driver, age 30. After three months of marriage, her husband was convicted in a murder case and imprisoned for 20 years in jail. When I interviewed her, Dewa explained to me while weeping:” My husband has been in jail for three years. I have no option but to wait in my in-laws house for the rest of my life. I have no child to be hopeful for him/her. My only father and mother-in-laws are old and poor. There is no one to help while I am sick. I am depressed. My life is really ruined.”
While observing the AWCSP program of AWC in Charikaar City, I saw a girl actively going here and there and taking the lead in the arrangement of their time for attending classes in AWC. I just remember those heart-shocking statements of her during the interview and asked her to share her current situation with me. She said:”After completing one year in AWCSP, now I can read and write. I read some books while I am alone, I write letters to my husband in jail and told him about my successes. He is very happy hearing all this. After learning beautification here, I do this business at home. I did make up two brides and received 4000afs from them in the last 15 days. I sent 2000afs to my husband in jail.” She further requested and said: "I love children and I am also good at lessons. If the ECD program extends, please hire me as an ECD teacher in this center.”
Her beautification trainer described her like this: ”Dewa is a very talented woman. She is very active. You see she does all the arrangements in this fair. I made her my assistant trainer who is giving me a hand in the training. She behaves very well with customers.”
The psychosocial councilors said about her: ”She is no longer depressed. She has many friends here in the center. She is very good to all. All trainers like Dewa.”
Hungama, 32, and a mother of 4 gir4s and 3 sons, admitted to too many problems with her husband. She ssaid, "My husband is drug addicted and he hasn't brought a single piece of clothes for me or for his children in the last 16 years of marriage. I couldn't afford to buy any. So I was being teased a lot. "Emphasizing the problems, she said, "I attmpted suicide twice and both times I was taken to the hospital and survived. It worsened my psychosocial condition and I beat my children a lot. The children had a tough time with me and the neighbors were rushing to my house to relase my children from me. How bad a mother I was."
She added, "After the AWCSP team came to the area to find the most vulnerable women, the neighbors recommended me to them I benefitted the most from AWCSP. The psychosocial counselors had given me consultation and patience. I was referred to a mental clinic and they game me medicine for six months. I used the medicine properly. Now I behave well with my husband. I am a good mother to my children and my neighbors are happy with me now. My two children came to the center and benefitted from ECD. They are intelligent. I am now hopeful for them. Now I am able to help them in reading and writing. I will educate them and will save them from the harms of their father.
She went further, saying, "I joined the tailoring vocation of AWCSP in our province which is in Parwan. Now I am a ful tailor. Yestorday I sewed four pieces of children's clothes. I was paid 50afs per piece and earned 200 afs total which is enough for me. I want to expand my tailoring business because the cause of my problems was poverty and income has solved my problems to an extent."
La Bibi is 38 years old. She is originally from Parwan province. She has 8 children, 2 sons and 6 daughters. She was so hopeless int he past and she could never think about changes in her life.
When she joined AWC she learned basic literacy education, human rights, women rights, parenting, life skills, Islamic, hygiene and health education. She had a greawt interest in tailoring skills which she learned during the vocational training period in AWC.
She is making 200 ADA per day from her achieved skills and she is spending some of her money on her children's education fees. She is very happy with her skills and she can contribute to household expenses as well.
Najeeba is 37 years old and she has 8 children, 5 girls and 3 boys. She is from the Bayan District of Parwan and lliving in the city of Parwan. Her husband works as a laborer in a washing powder company and he has an income of 150 AFA per day.
She had a very poor economic sutuation and her husband could not provide decent food for his family. She said that she could not read or write and did not have any vocational skills. She did not understand children's rights or Islam regulations. She has only one room in her house that the whoe family lives in and she does not have any space for guests or her older children.
Najeeba learned food processing skills during the vocational training period. She received a loan after graduation and ran a food processing business. She produces pickles, jams and sweets. Her husband helps her to sell the products in the local market. She earns 250 AFA/day. She is covering the daily expenses of her family and the expenses of her children's school. She also makes her weekly loan installments regularly. Najeeba requests that the government create some market opportunities for her products.
Najiba is 35 years old and a single mother of eight children, 5 girls and 3 sons. She is living in the Charikaar City of Parwan Province. Najiba who was really far 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, women rights, children rights and so on...
Najiba was living with 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 Najiba’s husband did nothing to search for a new job or to work to earn money.
Najiba 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 so Yasameen, who is a relative of Najiba, built courage and confidence in.Najiba to join the AWCSP center in Charikaar City, Yasameen knew about AWC previously.
Najiba Joined the AWCSP Center in Charikaar City. “Now I can read and write in Dari” says Najiba after completing eleven months of literacy and numeracy classes. And attended food processing skills for five months in parallel. In addition to the support she gets from the professional psychosocial councilors of AWC, she mentions her time in the center helped her to socialize with her children. Najiba is now a professional in processing different kinds of food. After some time a super store offered her an apportunity to prepare bottles of pickles so the store will share the benefit of profit with her as per bottle pickle is 50 Afs.
Now Najiba is able to cover all the expenses of her family and she is searching to develop her business and look for more oppourtunities.
Najiba is very gratful for Afghanistan Women Council. “AWC provided me the path to build my ruined life and helped me to have a bright present and look for a brighter future.
Ms. Wahida is 35 years old and currently livin gin district 6 of Parwan Province. She has 9 children consisting of 6 boys and 3 girls. Her husband is a lather worker working beside the road and he is also a drug addict. Her husband could not find enough alimony from his job for his children. Wahida always cried about her life. Her husband beat her every day and her elder son was 14 years old and not in shcool. He had bad friends in the area and he stole his father's 50000AFA which was saved during the last 7 years and disappeared 2 years ago. He has still not come back home.
Shen she enrolled in AWC she was in a very bad health situatin. She always cried and she could not get any lesson. She was physically in the class but mentally in so many places.
She received psychosocial supports such as individual meetings and treatment at public health hospitials. As a result of the AWC support program, she took her medicine. Her children received ECD program supports and her husband received gender and parenting trainings. He became totallly informed about women's and children's rights.
Wahida participated in a one year training program in basic education, literacy, and vocational training. She learned tailoring and received a loan after graduation. She is runnig a tailoring business and makes three pairs of cloth per day, earning 350AFA/day.
Wahida is very happy with her business and supports her family with her daily income. Her husband is very happy and thankful for the program in Parwan Province. She wants to expand her business in the future. She wants to be a completely independent woman in the future.
Yasmeena, a paralyzed girl of 10, seems more like 2-3 years old. She is neither physically nor mentally developed. She is second among her five brothers and sisters. She hadn't been to any learning centers before she joined AWCSP in Parwan Provice. She has passed one year in the pre-primary class of ECD in AWC Center.
When asked, she murmured and I could hardly understand her. "I am happy here and I learned all my lessons. I learned the Afghanistan National Anthem, the five pillars of Islam, and numeracy up to ten." When asked, she added, " I like to go to school but my brother told me that I will not be treated well there in school."
Her mother, Asia, a particiapnt in the tailoring class of AWCSP said, "Yasmeena is happy to come to AWC by tricycle every day. When there is rain ot snow and she cannot be brought to class, she is upset the whole day and cries. She explains to her father, brothers and sisters that she learned this and that. If she is happy, the whole family is happy."
Her teacher said, "I am happy and proud dthat I have made this child hopeful to go to school after learing to talk and then some basics. She is the first to rais her hand to answer my questions."
When I asked her, "What do you think if we deliver the same services to you next year? I saw the first smile in her skinny face and she mvoed her hands and body which the mother said is the sign of her great happiness."