75-year-old Mohammad Rauf is a community health worker living in northern Afghanistan’s Baghlan province. He’s recently taken part in medical training supported by AKF to grow his skills and treat his patients more effectively, particularly those suffering with mental health conditions.
Marwa (left) and Khaterah (right) are members of a community-based savings group in Takhar. Together with their fellow women members, they invest savings so that each can take out loans to set up small businesses. Since receiving her loan, Marwa has set up an agricultural business rearing sheep, whilst Khaterah has opened a children’s clothing shop in her village.
Six-year-old Darya has a passion for nature and learning. She attends an early childhood development class in her village in Baghlan province, supported by AKF.
“The sound of nightingales and joining this class give me hope, and I feel I am close to my dreams. I want to be a teacher in the future, just as the sound of nature is a teacher for me.”
Adeela runs a dairy shop in Ishkashim, Badakhshan. She learnt dairy processing and business skills through AKF-led training and now earns a steady income at her local dairy shop, selling milk and butter to her community.
Abdul Hakim has been keeping bees for more than seven years. Throughout that time, AKF has supported him to develop his beekeeping skills, as well as his knowledge of business management.
“Now I have become a master in this field, I can continue to keep bees and produce the best honey in the market.”
Chaman Gul has recently recovered from COVID-19. In Baghlan, northeast Afghanistan, AKF is distributing food packages to people like him who are in need of nutritious food after testing positive. The packages are filled with vitamin-D rich products, enough for a 14-day period.
Mohammad Saboor is a 30-year-old tailor who has been sewing for 11 years. He took part in AKF business training and has since been able to obtain a loan to grow his tailoring business.
“Before AKF’s help, I could not afford to buy modern sewing machines and I could not expand my business, but now I can do this well.”
Ghazwan is five years old. In his remote and rural community, access to education is limited, but he has been able to attend an early childhood education class supported by AKF to prepare for primary school.
Naajidah (left) and Uqaab (right) are studying for school entry exams, both with ambitions to continue their studies in order to make a difference in their communities in the future. AKF has been supporting students like them through preparation classes for their upcoming exams.
“I strive to be a successful doctor and to serve my community, all my efforts are to build a bright future.”
Abdul Bari is 24 years old. In Baghlan, he is working with AKF to help cultivate and irrigate agricultural land. There isn’t always work like this available to young men like him, but the province is highly dependent on agriculture and AKF is committed to creating jobs in this sector to build economic resilience.
“Most young people are forced to leave the country because they do not have a job. I was very worried that I would have to do that too, but now I am happy and hope that I will find more work soon.”
Khudadad owns a motorcycle repair shop in Takhar. For men like him, earning a stable income usually means having to emigrate to Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to find work. Through AKF’s business training, he has been able to establish his business locally.
“If more young people get jobs, they won’t leave the country. I was an immigrant in Iran, but I left because of unemployment there. Now I have a job here, I am not willing emigrate again.”
Photos by Sayed Habib Bidel, words by Kerensa Keevill
Please note: The names of the individuals photographed have been changed to protect their identities.
With thanks to all of our partners supporting AKF’s work in Afghanistan.