Najia is a 28-year-old woman living in Sheer Abad Turkmenia, Nahar Shahi District, Balkh Province. She is a member of the “Maihanha” Self-Help Group in the Women’s Empowerment Project in her area.
Najia lives in a rented two-room house with her family of four, including her three daughters. Her husband has been absent due to addiction issues since she became pregnant, and his whereabouts are unknown. Consequently, Najia is the sole breadwinner for her family.
She completed her education up to the 5th grade and has been working as a seamstress for the past 11 years. She received a sewing kit from the Hand in Hand Afghanistan Organization (HIHAO) and can create various types of clothing, including men’s, women’s, children’s, and ceremonial attire. Her monthly income ranges from 7,000 to 8,000 Afghanis, which covers her children’s expenses.
Najia not only does her own sewing work but also provides sewing instructions to five apprentices. These apprentices learn from her and assist in fulfilling customer orders.
Najia enthusiastically speaks about the Women’s Empowerment Project and the work of HIHAO, saying, “This program has transformed my life and the lives of dozens of other women in my neighborhood. Empowering women is one of the best and most effective ways to improve people’s lives, and this project and the activities of this organization are precisely doing that.”
Her message to other women who may be inactive at home is clear: “Waiting for the help of others won’t make life better. To bring about change, we must take action ourselves, learn skills and knowledge, and an improved life is closely tied to that.”