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A QUICK DRIVE FROM BEGGIN TO A SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD

Zainab with her children lives in Qari Ebadullah village located in the suburb of Taloqan city, capital of Takhar province. She is a widow. Sixteen years ago when she was 25 years old her husband, Ajab Gul, was martyred in a road bomb explosion on the way toward Baghlan. He left two girls and a boy named respectively Gul Afshan, Nazanin and Rajab, orphans for his wife Mrs. Zainab. Ajab Gul was ultra-poor and had no property from himself and he was going to left Afghanistan for one of neighboring country in order to earn money through laboring for his family. Unfortunately, he failed to achieve her aim.

Afterwards, Zainab had no help meet any more, she had a sense of impending the worst doom. She extremely suffers from losing of her husband. Her children believed that their father would return home in the near future. But, she was afraid of the unknown fate of her children and said them nothing about events happened upon their father. Zainab lonely struggle with all pains and knots which stood before her, she always consoled her children with the thought that their father would return soon and pretended that she was helpmeet of them while she had no means of helping them to go on to their lessons.

Zainab lived in a small cottage with no door and windows. This also was from one of her husband relatives. Washing clothes, baking breads and sweeping of rooms were those works she did daily in others home. Otherwise, she was obliged to beg in the local bazaar of her villages so as to provide food and clothes for her school age children. All her endeavors could not make her potentials to support her children to keep going to school on. Finally, her children leave schools which was another disappointment for her after losing her husband. She was selected as project beneficiaries through the recommendation of village representative. She received a pregnant cow by the project based on her interest. She is thankful of TUP project, I ponder this as a means of rescue from begging and hardworking with which I was encountered from a long time ago in the past. Now I have no concerns about the destiny of my children that is why I have occupation i.e. I breed my cow and purchase my family expenditures through selling its products. Also I received stipend amounting to AFN 1,000 on monthly basis for one year. Meanwhile, I received five days training on rearing cow, hygiene, family planning, enterprise development and social issues such as children rights, neighboring rights and establishing relationship with others in the community.” Paused and hopefully started speaking: “I took my children back to school by the help of TUP project. Presently they are not forced to gather bushes and animal dung for baking bread and cooking at home. They are now students of school as like other children in the village. I am able to provide all their requirements viz. notebooks, pens, clothes and bags for them from my own incomes through joining the markets and establishing small business, the project staff supported me in all aspect of my life and its opened a new outlet to my dark live and I am more hopeful for a bright future,” Pointed out Zainab.

She bought a floor of carpet for the room. She also constructed a kitchen from the income earned. At the same time project helped her to buy windows and door for the house. She added, “I am not on burden of other shoulders, I got skills and received asset, I work hard to make income. I am not what I was yesterday. I have skills and manage second enterprise. So, I do my best to effectively utilize from my asset. I am grateful from all; MISFA/ CoAR and Afghan state for providing ultra-poor widows with assistance and rescued them from begging.

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