“We used to live in extreme poverty, my father -the only breadwinner of the family is unskilled labor, mother is housewife and I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters. My two brothers are disabled and my father’s income is never enough for the entire family, my sister and mother used to work in neighbors’ houses to earn something and contribute in feeding the family.” Says Laila, 19, single, she lives in Shahrak Ulia village of Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh province.

Laila joined Murwared Self-Help Group after HiH Af started mobilization for ‘Village Uplift Program’ and she received series of trainings including Group Management, Micro-Finance and Business Development Services. She says, “After attending regular group meetings and trainings, with support of my trainers I conducted a market survey and understood that there is good market for women beauty salon in our community.”

Laila joined Beautician Vocational Training class and attended six months of regular training. Upon completion of the training, she received enterprise startup kit and established a beauty salon in her home.

Now she runs the business inside her house and provides services to women and girls in her community, she says “I am earning around AFN 2,000 each month and I am confident that it will increase over time as my customers increase. I am sure that this business will improve our lives and will be able to contribute in family expenses and support my disabled brothers and sisters.”

Laila encourages other girls in her community to learn a skill and establish micro-enterprisses to be independent and self-sufficient. She is training her younger sister to learn the same skills and help her in the salon. She says, “I am training my sister and she could provide me a helping hand as my customers are increasing overtime.”

Laila wants to continue the business with her sister and they jointly plan to establish a beauty salon in the future.

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