Four years ago, Karadah Project International and Shindand Women Social Foundation (SWSF), a local Afghan nonprofit organization, began a partnership to provide goats to fifteen women in each of two villages. Before the participants took ownership of their two does and two kids, they learned the basics of goat care during a four-month training program.
In each village, we centralized the milk processing equipment to economize on cost, simplify training, and give the women a place and reason to meet and share ideas.
After the women completed the training and were successfully managing their growing herd of goats, a surge in Taliban violence made it untenable and dangerous for our program managers to remain in the area. We left the goats in the care of the women and under the protection of the local leaders and monitored the progress of our goats from a distance through them. Due to recent successful clearing operations by Afghan security forces, the Taliban is in retreat in Shindand District. We are excited to again be working closely with our friends there.
The following two charts contain data from the latest audit of our goats in Khairabad and Shorab villages. The herds have been well-managed, allowing the women to eat some, sell others, and milk and breed the balance. The net result is improved nutrition and increased family income.
Our one-time investment in Afghan families perpetually reproduces itself and provides a sustainable means of improved nutrition and increased family income.
THE HENS ARE COMING
Supplementing our successful goat projects, we are now distributing 20 egg-laying hens to ten women in each of our two villages and an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Herat, Afghanistan.
Here’s what a few chickens mean to a family in rural Afghanistan.
SWSF will manage our Khairabad and Shorab village projects in partnership with local village leaders and our women participants. The work SWSF has done with our projects and its own women’s literacy and vocational skills training projects has been exemplary. They have earned both our trust and confidence. We are grateful for their hard work, expertise, and friendship.
The Women’s Education for a Better Tomorrow Organization (WEBTO) will lead our hen distribution in Minaret IDP camp. WEBTO is an Afghan women-founded organization doing incredible work in helping disadvantaged and displaced women gain the necessary vocational skills to lift themselves out of poverty. Beginning on April 1, 2018, WEBTO and Karadah Project are also partnering on a six-month vocational training program in the Minaret IDP camp.
SWSF has begun the purchase of 200 hens and the selection of participants in Khairabad. WEBTO has also started the process of setting up our Minaret IDP camp project. The Karadah Project is currently raising funds for the Shorab village hen project to complete our initial hen distributions.
We intend to expand our livestock operations to include more displaced and disadvantaged women in Herat Province. Women are among the most vulnerable in rural areas and in IDP camps. Their opportunities are limited, nevertheless, many have become heads of households because their husbands have died, are disabled, or have abandoned them. Whatever the circumstances, these families find it difficult to rise above their poverty. It is a heart-rending experience to select only a few women out of so many who are in need. WEBTO and Karadah Project are committed to supporting these courageous women’s efforts to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Far from being powerless, these are women of great fortitude, courage, and resourcefulness. Their lives are tragically difficult; of that there is no doubt. They are survivors, however, and demonstrate quiet daily heroism and dignity in their humble circumstances. Through our goat projects they have proven that with a small investment, they have the capacity to improve their lives and lift themselves out of extreme poverty. With your help, we can support more of these women.
Karadah Project International
The Karadah Project International is an Iowa 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation committed to building sustainable and long-term solutions in partnership with the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.