FROM UNSKILLED LABOR TO SKILLED CARPENTER
Jan Mohammad, 23, single, lives in Sar-e-Asyab, a village of Chimtal district, Balkh province. He says “I live with my parents. I have two brothers and 2 sisters. My father is a shopkeeper, mother is housewife, one brother is student and the other is farmer, after completing high school, I had to work and earn to support the family instead of continuing my education.”
Jan Mohammad used to work in agricultural fields as unskilled labor and help his father in feeding the family, he says, “My father is not able to pay all the expenses, I used to do exhausting works to earn something, I was always in search of a job, usually had to do hard works for less money.”
Jan Mohammad joined Khair Khwa Self-Help Group after HiH Af started mobilization in his village, he attended regular group meetings and received Group Management, Book Keeping, Microfinance and Business Development Services (BDS) training. He says, “I joined the self-help group because I wanted to learn a skill so I asked my trainer about different types of skills, after some research and market survey I selected carpentry, HiH Af supported me and I joined carpentry apprenticeship in a well-known shop. After 6 months I completely learnt carpentry and HiH Af supported me with tools, so I established this small shop.”
Jan Mohammad has a small shop in his village and does carpentry for the villagers. He builds, installs and repairs door, furniture, kitchen cabinet and other accessories. He says, “I work regularly now, my shop is good for villagers as well – because they don’t have to travel long distances in search of a carpenter, I earn around AFN 6,000 per month that enables me to support my father as well as pay for my own education, I have joined teacher training center and want to become a teacher in the future beside my carpentry business.” He added, “Now I am an independent, happy and proud entrepreneur, thanks to this project for the support, it equipped me with skills and knowledge I needed. My trainers are still supporting me to increase my customers. As my customers increase, I will expand my business by getting a bigger shop and more equipment which will result in earning more.”
Jan Mohammad is one of 961 (83% female) persons supported by ‘Socio-economic empowerment of women and men in Chimtal district of Balkh province project’ co-funded by HiH Int. and CAFOD.