Bibi Hadia, aged 19 years old, lives with her parents and three brothers in Dawlat Shahi village of Bagram District in Parwan Province. Her father is the breadwinner for the family, earning around around AFN 40,000 per year (US$521) from farming.

With this low income, Hadia’s family struggled to meet their needs, unable to buy enough food or to pay for a doctor when illness struck. Hadia wished to earn her own income, but there were no opportunities for progression in her village until Hand in Hand Afghanistan launched project.

She says, “I joined Sana Self-Help Group one and a half year ago and took training in business development, group management, market linkage trainings and attended regular group meetings.

With an interest in bag making, Bibi Hadia underwent four months of vocational training before obtaining a start-up toolkit with items including a sewing machine, scissors and other materials such as zippers, textile and threads.

Bibi Hadia is enthused about the impact this training has had: “Now I have improved my skills better than before. I have started stitching bags and I am earning around AFN 5,000 (US$65) to 6,000 (US$78) per month. I sell the bags to shopkeepers in the district and provincial market and get the raw materials from Kabul.”

Hadia added, “As it is the beginning of my work and I have big dreams in my life to come true by my handwork, I believe that every success and big things start with small steps and for me it was the training and support I received from Hand in Hand Afghanistan. She explained she wants to expand her business by employing other women and then selling to wholesalers.

“With my income, I will support my family and provide school stationary item to my brothers. I am

training two of my relatives to learn my occupation. I want to be a role model in our society.”

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