Freba had been living in Pakistan since she was a child. She was less than five years old when her father died and her mother took care of her children until Freba married her cousin 19 years ago and returned back to Afghanistan.
Freba 40 years old, mother of eight, four daughters 17, 14, 10 and 7 and four sons 17, 12, 6 and 2 years old, her first born babies were twins. They are livings in Hayet Qul Bay village of Khulm district, Balkh province. Her husband – Habibullah is a teacher at school and he is paid AFN 7,000 on monthly basis. This much income is never enough to cover all family expenses they have no saving and there were no any other support to help their children in school expenses.
Freba joined HiH Afghanistan organization Aftab (Sun) SHG last year. She says, “I was informed about the project from HIHAO field staff who came to our village and talked about the project that supports women to build their capacity and establish a source of income for them, so I decided to join the program and received training including business development services, microfinance and market linkages. As I was interested in tailoring and decided to learn sewing professionally”.
Freba added, “After six months tailoring training I started my business at home and in the first month I earned AFN 3, 000 and from this money I bought fabrics to make cloths to my daughters, sons and husband. All of them were wearing new cloths on Eid days, seeing my children happy I felt joyful and this increased my enthusiasm in my occupation so that I can work harder, train students in this field and earn more money.”
She studied until fifth grade, due to economic problem in Pakistan, she could not finish school and did not reach to her childhood dreams, but now she changed a lot after she learned doing business. Now that her working experience has improved, She has started small scale layer poultry farm and also raising cow for its milk.
Freba is one of the Community Advocacy Group members under Every Voice Count (EVC) program as well. She says, “EVC program made me completely free from isolation. Previously, I never went in crowd, neighbours’ ceremonies and even did not know my relatives, I was not social. For the first time, through a legal advocacy, we, the women of this village, built a girls’ school in our village with all its facilities and it was opened a couple of months ago.
At the end Freba said,” I am thankful to Hand in Hand Afghanistan Organization for providing learning programs, tailoring machine and all equipment for us, I am happy for having my occupation also continue to be an active part of society and say this message to all women in our country – An opportunity, an effort and a positive step can make the way for a positive change in your life. Be patient and look for opportunities”.
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