woman cutting fabric

#SheInspiresMe: Karima from Afghanistan

Karima lost her father-in-law and her home during war in Afghanistan, but she will not let conflict take away her resilience. 

“During the war everything turned upside down,” Karima, a 45-year-old mother of four, recounts. When her village fell into violent conflict, Karima and her family had to seek refuge in Pakistan. There they lived in poverty with little access to necessities such as clean drinking water.

A Fresh Start

After returning to Afghanistan, she learned about Women for Women International through a community leader and joined the yearlong training program in Kabul. At the training, Karima learned tailoring and business management skills. She also learned about her health and her rights.

“The lessons I learned here I put into practice in my daily life,” Karima says.

Karima, WfWI, has big dreams for her small business. Karima has big dreams for her small tailoring business in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo Credit: WfWI 2015

Inspired by what she was learning, Karima decided to begin her own business right away. During the 8th month of training, she used her newly-found skills and the monthly stipend she received from WfWI to buy two second-hand sewing machines and fabric and start a tailoring business. Now, Karima not only supports her own family but also employs five other women in her neighborhood.

Karima’s husband, a manual laborer, was recently injured and is no longer able to work. As a result, the responsibility to provide for all of the family’s needs falls on Karima. Luckily, Karima is not only earning enough to pay for every-day needs, but is also saving money in hopes of expanding her business someday.

“For the last four months the bazaar was good but now I’m looking for new market and new customers,” Karima says.

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Finding a Support System

Through WfWI’s training, Karima has not only gained several skills to help her move out of extreme poverty, but she has also found a circle of support.

“I have found many good friends: especially one woman, who has become like my sister. She is very kind and I want to be in touch with her forever,” Karima says.

In addition to her new friends, Karima is grateful to her trainers who supported her not only inside the classroom but also answered her questions and guided her on matters relating to her small business.

“My business, life skills and tailoring trainer helped me a lot. All my achievement is because of their kind advice.”

Check out our #SheInspiresMe page for more stories about inspiring women around the world.