Shafiqa is a 40-year-old woman living in Hairatan town, Mazar-i-Sharif city, Balkh province, Afghanistan. She is the mother of two daughters, and a son, and a housewife for her home and husband. Shafiqa is a participant in Mahtab (tailoring) SHG.
Shafiq joined the project to increase her capacity for tailoring. She says: “Before, I was somehow familiar with tailoring, but that was not like a professional skill like measuring people’s bodies by cm and inch. By taking these classes, I learned everything slowly and with progress. More important to me is that I was not able to communicate with the community and people. By spending time in classes, meeting new people, and learning in the classes, I understand how to be social and communicable with people, which not only affects my profession but my personal life as well. I learned how to have savage and take the loan in groups, which I had no idea about, and now I think we can sustain the series of having groups and all processes through the project’s end.
Since her improvement in the project classes, she experienced a bold change in her work, and she says, “I used to earn a minimum wage from tailoring before, which was not sufficient for my family, but the communication and relation skills I learned made me able to promote my business; now almost all of our small community knows me as Shafiqa the tailor; before, I was not that famous; I was just an amateur sewer.”
Shafiqa happily shares her income and says: “Now, we earn around 3,000 to 4,000 Afghanis monthly. “We invested 4,500 Afghanis in the elements and tools of tailoring from the group loan, and that was fruitful for building my own small business.”
The difference the extra income has made in their lives is significant, and she is now able to support her family.
“I’m supporting my entire family: my two girls, who are students in school, and my son, who is a student at a college in Takhar Province. My children are all students who require my assistance, so profit and business are my only sources of income. More than that, I mentioned before that I was not able to communicate with others, but now I have the social courage to inquire about how to communicate, contact people, and build relationships that impress my personal and professional lives, “all that I have today is from the project staff and classes,” Shafiqa added.
Shafiqa wishes to teach tailoring to a large number of pupils, and she wants to be a trainer in tailoring cases with lots of students.
In the end, she delivers a message to other women: “Sisters, by your backbones and stand on your feeds.” “Because our children are the future, if we are unable to assist them in learning and achieving their goals, it is our responsibility and task as a mother, sister, or anyone in the family to support the young generation.”