Meena is 30 years old married and has 5 children, 2 daughters and 3 sons. Her husband collects fruits from Khulm district and sells it to the neighboring provinces. He earns between AFN 2,000 to AFN 5,000 per month. They live in her in laws house in Hait Qul Bai village of Khulm district, Balkh province and they do not pay any rent.

She says that, our household income was very less because only my husband was working and his income was irregular, sometimes he even made loss instead of profit. I was not working because I thought my responsibility is only to take care of house and the children.

She joined Aftab Self-Help Group a year ago when Hand in Hand Afghanistan started implementation of the Empowering Women in Afghanistan project in Khulm district. She says, “HiH Af staff came to the village and talked about the project that they support women to build their capacity and establish a source of income for them, therefore I decided to join the program.”

She received a series of trainings including group SHG management and Business Development Services (BDS) training. During the BDS training she decided to start pickle production. HiH Af provided her the enterprise startup toolkit to start her pickle production enterprise.

She makes pickle from different types of vegetable such as, carrot, eggplant cauliflower, cucumber and turnip. She packs this in cans of 1 kg and half kg and sells 1kg for AFN 40. She sells around 70kg every month in Khulm market and makes a profit of above AFN 1,000. She is planning to start jam production as well and hopes that her business expands and earn more in the near future.

She now feels more confident and comfortable because she does not need to ask her husband for money. She spends her income for her children’s education and save some for emergency need.

She says, from my income I bought 5 layer chickens and we do not need to buy eggs anymore.

She also says, now my information has increased therefore I got voting card this time and I voted to the person of my choice in the presidential election.

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