It seems incredible in today’s world that a goat can solve enormous problems and give new hope to women and children who have suffered violence from thirty years of war.
There are ten women who, thanks to the goat micro-credit project, will be able to realise this dream. With a contribution of 5,000 euro, 3,000 euro of this coming from the Costa Family Foundation and the rest coming from the ‘Insieme si può’ initiative, the volunteers of SAAJS in Afghanistan have bought thirty goats, three for each of the ten women having a family to support. This year the women came from the province of Balkh in north Afghanistan, near the border with Tagikistan and Turkmenistan. The goats have been passed on and the women have already been able to make a profit from which we hope will come a sustainable activity, this in a country decimated by more than thirty years of war.
Here we tell some of the stories of the women benefiting from this initiative:
Rahila is 36 years old, has two children and lost her husband during an insurrection two years ago. To be able to feed her family she was obliged to join the police-force.
Bibi Haya Gul is 62 and lost her husband more than 30 years ago. He was a teacher and really loved his job. One day the PDPA agents came to his school and removed the teachers. Since that day she has never seen him.
Sakeen lost her husband three years ago, during clashes between government forces and the Taliban. Sakeena is now 50 and has three children, and as well as daily expenditure she also has a rent to pay. Thanks to having the goats, she is able to send her children to school.
Sediqa has five children. Her husband died due to illness - there had been no money to pay for medical treatment. Since that time she only made a little money by baking bread for a neighbour. Now she is 36 and her greatest wish is to be able to send her children to school. Thanks to the goats she will be able to.
Aisha has not seen her husband since he set off for Iran in search of work to keep the family. Years have passed since she last had news of him. She is alone with four children and struggling to help them grow. She says that the only dream she has is to be able to send them to school.
Fatima is 48 and has five children. Her husband was killed on the road from Kabul to Balkh. Up until now she has got by by doing small jobs in the area, just enough to get some bread and survive until the next day. She lost her husband in a battle in Kunduz. She sees the micro-credit system as a way to give her children a better future.
The expense involved:
30 goats – 4,075 euro
Logistics – 425 euro
Administration costs – 500 euro
The actual delivery of the goats is very difficult and risky, in that it is not well received by the Talebani and the ISIS extremists: for this reason the delegation travels under protection and it has been asked of us not to reveal the identity of the women, for fear that they may be subjected to violence.