Afghan women living in rural areas do not have many opportunities to become financially self-sufficient and have a decent life because of the absence of education and jobs.

31 year old Saida is from Dawlat Abad district in Faryab province in the Northwest part of Afghanistan, among the most insecure provinces in the country. After her husband was killed in an action in 2016, while serving for the Afghan Army, she had to take care of her 11-member family and provide food for everyone.

Her husband’s salary was the main income to cover family needs however after he was gone, she started to face many obstacles to feed her children and the rest of the family.

“I used to clean neighbors’ houses and wash their clothes. I could earn a small amount of money and it was not enough to cover all the costs” said Saida.

In February 2020, DACAAR, under the rural development project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA), distributed dairy cows to 48 vulnerable women headed households in Pashtonkot, Dawlat Abad, Khwaja Sabz Posh, Almar, Qaisar, Maimana, Sherintagab districts of Faryab. Participants were provided with training on livestock rearing, dairy processing and good hygiene practices while DACAAR technical staff ensured follow up support and mentoring over the course of six months to ensure these families are able to make the best out of their new livestock.

Because of the training and follow up support, Ms. Saida is now able not only to put fresh food on the family table but also to make an income of AFN 9,000 (apprx. USD 120) per month by selling dairy products.

Every day, I sell around 10 kgs of fresh milk as well as yoghurt and butter to other families in the village. This provides me with enough income to cover all the family needs including school expenses of my daughter”, she added.

“Before DACAAR intervention, I did not have many skills to breed livestock, but DACAAR staff provided me training and awareness sessions over the past six months which helped me to understand how to breed, take care, feed and collect milk from cow”.

Khal Bibi is a vulnerable woman in the Pashtun Kot district of Faryab province, who has to take care of her 8-member family. As part of the project, she received three goats to help her become self-sufficient and to be able to feed her family.

“DACAAR staff provided me with livestock training and after that, I received three goats. I can take care of them and because of it I have more milk than my family needs and I sell it to the neighbours and in the bazaar. I am also producing yoghurt with the help of my daughter. I am earning AFN 3,000 (about USD 40) per month and I have been able to send my daughter to school, hoping she will have more opportunities because of that”, said Khal Bibi.

Through the NMFA funded project, DACAAR has supported female beneficiaries to generate a better income for their families improving life-conditions, increasing their literacy and providing a better future for their children.

Written by: Razmaa Saboor
Contribution: Marco Pennisi