Most women in remote Char Bolak District located in Balkh Province are illiterate and live in poverty. Rahima and her husband Haji Shahzada were determined to improve the quality of life of the area’s women through their newly established Char Bolak Women Development and Animal Husbandry Association. Hearing about the U.S. Ambassador’s Small Grants Program for Gender Equality in Afghanistan, Rahima developed a project to purchase ten cows for vulnerable women in the village, as well as to improve the association’s facilities.
As a result of the grant, the association has experienced tremendous growth and has been able to reach out to many local women. The association now has 150 members, 20 of whom are involved in livestock training and a substantial majority of whom receives literacy training. Now that the women have the skills and opportunity to earn an income and improve their families’ diets, their lives are changing for the better. “For the first time, Char Bolak witnesses the implementation of such a dynamic project that attracts an increasing number of women,” Rahima reports proudly.