Success Stories

Recovering from Conflict, Stitch by Stitch

Posted on February 28, 2013 by John Engels

Afghan women in tailoring class. The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program has supported more than 12,000 families since 2007. Help in setting up a tailoring business is one of 15 types of assistance offered to women. GHAZNI, Afghanistan – For many Afghan women, earning a living can be tough. There are few economic opportunities, the country has one of the highest rates of female illiteracy in the world, and many women are discouraged from appearing in public. Particularly challenging for women is the severe economic hardship they suffer when their husbands or close male relatives are killed or injured. The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program helps families, including thousands of women, to cope with losses because of the presence of US and coalition military forces in the country.

Narindar Singh was killed in a traffic collision involving a US Army armored vehicle. He worked as a mason and was the main income earner for his family. The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program helped five of his female relatives to set up a family tailoring business. The project paid for an instructor to train them for three months and provided all the equipment and materials that they needed, including sewing machines and cloth.
The women got off to a great start when, during their training course, they received orders to make 60 dresses. Now the business is thriving, generating a profit of $180 a month for the family. “We learned how to sew good quality clothes,” Narindar’s daughter, Kaltar Kow, said. “Now we receive an order for about two pairs of clothes each day. We feel that soon we will be able to attract even more customers by sewing and selling clothes at the bazaar. We will invest in our business and hope to make it stronger.”

The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program has supported more than 12,000 families since 2007.  Help in setting up a tailoring business is one of 15 types of assistance specifically for women.

The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program is funded by USAID Afghanistan and implemented by IRD.

Filed Under: Conflict Mitigation, Capacity Building, Civ/Mil, Women & Gender, Asia & Pacific, Afghanistan