Tailoring is My Passion and Source of Income
In the small tailoring shop in Injeel district of Herat province, western Afghanistan, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maryam Ghulami has just finished sewing a bunch of dresses for a wedding party. The bribe’s long dress is white and beautiful. Maryam worked hard the past few days to have the dresses ready for the customers well before the party and as per the customer’s wishes.
Maryam Ghulami, one of five siblings, lives in Injeel district center. She is an outgoing and confident young woman who recently graduated from a 7-month tailoring vocational training course implemented by DACAAR in the district. The 24-year-old enjoys her day-to-day work, but things have not always been like this.
I always wanted to be a teacher but this was not possible as the girl’s school in my area was very far from my home, so my parents could not support me to enroll in school. As I grew up everything seemed dull to me; I felt lazy staying all the time at home”. Maryam recalls.
Some aged women in my neighborhood used to do knitting or a living, but I never got the opportunity to learn from them as I used to work as a cleaner in other people’s houses.
I remember the rainy day in 2019 in my village when the female CDC members came to my house as part of a survey to find vulnerable women. They registered my name in the tailoring vocational training course that was to be started by DACAAR in our district
In the VT course, not only did I learn a new skill, but also how to read and write. I can now run my shop with the help of my two sisters and a cousin,
I am able to arrange my daily activities and sew different types of clothes and dresses for female customers in my village. I have a good income of AFN 300-400 per day which I spend on groceries and fresh foods for my family.
Maryam not only sews for women from her neighboring village, recently she signed a contract with a private hospital in Herat to sew gowns for nurses and doctors in a local hospital.
“Recently I sewed a gown for my cousin, who is a nurse in Loqmani- Hakeem Hospital. Her colleague liked it and I got the chance to sign a contract with the hospital to sew more gowns for doctors and nurses.” said Maryam with a smile on her face.
Kubra Saifi, DACAAR’s Social Organizer in Injeel district of Herat pointed out the importance of vocational training for women: “before DACAAR’s intervention, most of the women in Injeel were jobless and illiterate. The VT courses helped them to be empowered and have a small income to support their families and be part of decision making in their households.”
Written by: Razmaa Saboor
Contribution: Irshad Alamyar