Giving New Hope To Women In Eastern Afghanistan
Published on 21 July 2014

Dil Ara proudly displays her work at a WFP-supported training course in Jalalabad.
Photo: WFP/Wahidullah Amani

WFP has been providing food assistance to vulnerable women, especially widows and female school drop-outs, to encourage them to take part in vocational training courses that will teach them income-generating skills such as embroidery, handicrafts and making bed rolls for children.

Dil Ara, 40, has eight kids. Her husband works as a laborer in the local market and only earns 3-4 dollars per day, just enough to cover their rent. She and her husband used to have trouble sleeping -- stress and worry keeping them up through the night.

“I am pretty happy now, we have food to eat and we can pay the rent. For the past months, I've been learning how to embroider and I plan to continue do this business at home,” she said.

In collaboration with the local NGO Bright Future for Afghan Needful Organization (BFANO) who implements this project in Jalalabad City and Behsoud District in Nangahar Province, and through the support of the Government of Japan, WFP is assisting the trainees with a monthly food ration for six months. WFP’s food basket includes wheat, pulses, oil and salt. The project started in May and will end on 31 October 2014.

“WFP’s food plays an important role in this training: the trainees are provided with food baskets which encourage them to attend the classes. Without the food assistance, most trainees would not be able to attend the training courses as they would need to instead spend time looking for menial jobs to make money and support their families,” said Adina, head of BFANO.

The handicraft products made by women in these classes are sent to markets around the country and the profits are then used for purchasing new materials. “We take these products to many cities in the country for sale. We are working hard to find more buyers, however, we need support in marketing so that we can increase our production, which will in turn contribute to the sustainability of the business,” she added.

Another trainee, 37-year-old Shirin Gul had been washing clothes and cleaning houses to support her five children. Her husband is addicted to drugs; and her only son who works in a local restaurant is paid only one dollar per day.

“I am here to learn embroidery. Once I finish this training, I will continue the same work at home and will be selling my products in the market. This skill will help me support my kids,” said Shirin.


WFP Offices
About the author

Wahidullah Amani

National Communications Officer

Wahidullah Amani, a former journalist, has been with WFP since 2012. He now works as the National Communications Officer for WFP Afghanistan based in Kabul.