One Roof and two Missions; How did Soraya get in to the labor market?
By: Zabihullah Sultani
Soraya, a 46 years old lady, who is a resident of Mirshakar village, Dug-Abad, Kabul province. She is working in food processing industry and named her products "Basil Home Products."
Mrs. Soraya said, “Since her husband is out of work, she is responsible to look after her family, and she pays all her family expenses.”
She added about the commencement of her activities that she was immigrant in Iran before, adding that when we got back to Afghanistan, I was facing serious economic issues and challenges, for I did not have any specific career. So, in-order to make a living, I had to meet basic needs of my family through Agriculture and livestock sector.
Also, due to my enthusiasm and passion in food processing, through associations and production groups set up by Ministry of Agriculture, I joined a training course in food processing section, which provided us with how to prepare cheddar, pickles, pastes, and jams and taught us how to dry vegetables.
After passing the mentioned program, the Family Economy Directorate officials had come to our village to conduct a survey to select women farmers to grow vegetables, and I was selected in this survey. "I am very happy that this program has basic education for illiterate women and helps the poor and destitute, especially those who are not busy outside the home."
She further stated, it was seemed very intense to handle these problem, yet, when she utilized the learned training program, she had realized that this is the easiest way to meet her and her family needs and can be self-sufficient.
Soraya, along with a group of other beneficiaries, started farming on the Darulaman cocoon farm. They grow vegetables on the farm, such as eggplant, peppers, garlic, and potatoes, and sell the produce. From its income, they pay for the expenses of the family and the school of her children.
In addition to learning how to grow and harvest vegetables, Ms. Soraya and her companions are also trained in food processing, handicrafts, and marketing for their products. "During this time, I was trained in cultivation and benefits of vegetables, marketing, food processing and handicrafts by the staff of the Department of Family Economics," says Soraya.
When Soraya completed her training in food processing department, she prepared pastes, cheddar, pickles, jams and dried vegetables. By selling these products, she can both provide for her family and save some money to expand his business. Later, with the cooperation of the Department of Family Economics, she enters the exhibitions and can find customers for "Reyhaneh Home Products" and get to know the market for the sale of these products better.
Now Ms. Soraya, while being able to provide for her family, has become an entrepreneur who helps grow domestic production and handicrafts. For this reason, she welcomes the launch of such programs and the education of women by Ministry of Agriculture, and considers it a great help to poor families.
Satisfaction with life as one of the components of comfort is slowly entering Soria’s family. On the other hand, her success in handicrafts and food processing has motivated her to do business. "Thank God my life is better now," she says. Through business I provide for my children's school expenses as well as my family needs. "God willing, I want to be a successful businesswoman nationwide."
Now Soraya does not need a returnee; she is a self-sufficient lady with a good income. She has a shop that sells both Reyhaneh home-made products and handicrafts. Under the roof of this shop, she carries out the mission of providing for his family and works for the growth of domestic production and handicrafts.