Latifa’s Inspiring Journey: Sewing Success and Dreams

Meet Latifa, a determined 19-year-old who lives in the village of Sheer Abad Turkmenia in Balkh Province. She’s a member of a Self-help group called “Khateraha” in the Women’s Empowerment Project in her village.

Latifa lives in a small one-room house with her big family. There are four sisters, three brothers, and her parents. She’s the second oldest. Her older brother works as a cook in Kabul for a local trader. They also have a little sister who’s just two and a half years old.

Latifa used to go to school until the 10th grade. But she had to stop going to school two years ago because of rules from the government. She really wishes she could continue her education.

Even though her dreams of school had to be put on hold, Latifa found a new passion. She is a dressmaker now. She learned how to make clothes from a local tailor near her home. She mostly makes clothes for her family and relatives. Latifa is also really good at embroidery. She learned this craft from an expert and now has many customers who love her embroidery work.

Latifa makes around 2,000 to 3,000 Afghan Afghanis (AFN) every month. Right now, she’s working hard on an order for 60 handkerchiefs, charging 10 to 15 AFN for each one. She’s also creating a special set for kids, priced at 700 AFN, and an embroidered traditional protective shed for newborns for 300 AFN.

Latifa is so good at what she does that four people have asked her to teach them embroidery. But she can’t do it right now because she doesn’t have enough space to accommodate them.

Latifa used to help her family make mattresses, but she doesn’t have time for that now. She really wants to learn how to read, write, and play sports.

Latifa’s dad is a farmer in Kunduz province, but he can’t visit them often. His income is not very high, so Latifa takes care of her younger brothers and sisters who go to school.

Latifa is thankful for the Hand in Hand Afghanistan Organization and the Women’s Empowerment Project. The project helps her save money and get loans to grow her business or meet important needs. The training she’s received has helped her manage her business better. She hopes such projects are essential to help more people in faraway places like her village.

Latifa has a message for other girls and women: “Keep trying, go to school, and learn a skill. Work together with your family to make your lives better.”

Latifa’s story shows that with determination and support, even in tough times, you can see a brighter future for yourself.

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