Mastora is a 35-year-old woman residing in Sheer Abad Turkmania, Balkh province of Afghanistan. She is a mother of two daughters and four sons, a devoted wife to her husband, and a caring daughter to her elderly uncle. Mastora ‘s journey took a positive turn when she joined the Empowerment of Women project after completing a survey. It thrilled her to be selected for the fabric enterprise group, a profession she had aspired to pursue.
Prior to joining the project, Mastora ran a small shop from her home, where she sold various grocery items to neighboring families. Since 2020, she and her husband jointly managed the family’s finances. This allowed her to gain valuable insights into buying and selling products.
While the grant received the grant from HIHAO, Mastora has expanded her shop and now owns a mall. Her shop offers a diverse range of products, primarily catering to home and female needs, including clothing, kitchen supplies, hygiene products, juice drinks, and fabrics. Mastora expresses her satisfaction, saying, “I have just developed my shop and mall with the help of the grant. I am delighted with the wide array of products available in my shop, especially those focused on home and female needs.”
While her husband also owns a shop in a nearby small bazaar, Mastora has been more successful in terms of profitability. She obtained a 10,000 Afghanis loan from the group and utilized it to purchase additional products for her shop. When she earned a profit, she generously provided it to her husband to develop his shop in the local market. Mastora plans to repay the loan herself, considering her shop’s superior sales performance, even though her husband requests her to supply some products for sale in his shop.
Mastora takes pride in her ability to support her family with essential expenses. She covers the cost of daily household needs, medical expenses, and doctor’s fees when her children fall ill. Her monthly income from the shop is around 4 thousand Afghanis, which she primarily allocates to these daily necessities.
As the economy evolves, Mastora acknowledges that her social life has undergone significant changes. The local community now recognizes her as a saleswoman due to her thriving business and the mall she manages. Around 10 customers visit her shop regularly and express satisfaction with her products and service.
Mastora emphasizes how her participation in the project and recent months of experience have expanded her knowledge about interest, loans, investment, and business development. Previously illiterate, she now feels more confident in counting and understanding numbers. This newfound expertise has become a valuable asset to her.
When envisioning her future, Mastora aspires to expand her business into a larger shop or mall within the area. She plans to introduce cosmetic products to her inventory. In conclusion, she sends a message to other women, stating, “In these challenging economic times, we must support our husbands and families by initiating enterprises or professions that can benefit everyone.”