Shah Bibi is 38 years old and has 4 children, lives in Khorasan village of Gosfandi district, Sarepul province.

She says “my husband used to work in market as wage worker and 8 years ago one day he left home and never came back, we have searched him a lot, but we couldn’t find him”.

After Shah Bibi’s husband was lost, she had to take the lead in family and started searching for a job to earn a living. She says “there was no school in our village for girls in the past and therefore, I never had the chance to go to school, I didn’t have any skills either, so I was in trouble for earning food for myself and my children. I was always dependent on neighbors and relatives to donate something; I would do any work I could find such as laundry, cleaning or washing dishes”.

Shah Bibi joined HiH Af’s Self Help Group named Rizwana after “Reducing Poverty and Gender Inequality” project started in their village, she attends regular group meetings and has received several trainings including Group Management, Microfinance, Business Development Services, Vocational Skills Training and Life Skill Training for Entrepreneurs (LSTE).

She says “I always wanted to work and be able to take care of my children therefore; I choose to learn embroidery and received enterprise startup kit from HiH Af after completing the vocational skills training. I choose embroidery because there is good demand both in winter and summer”.

Now Shah Bibi makes embroidery clothes for men, women and children. She says “I am working from home so I can take care of my children, customers come to me and I am earning around AFN 5,000 per month, I am no longer dependent on neighbors or relatives donations, I have my own savings for emergencies too”.

Since she has received LSTE from HiH Af, now she can help her kids in school lessons and she says “It makes me very happy to be able to help my kids with their studies”.

Shah Bibi says “Now I am confident that my future will be brighter, my kids will have my support to study and make a better future for themselves. I will soon expand my business by selling embroidery materials”.

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