Give hope to families like Asal's this Harvest

23 September 2020

You probably know someone like Asal. She lives in Afghanistan, but what she’s been through hits very close to home. Because, like far too many of us, Asal lost someone she loved to Covid-19.

Asal was living with her husband and five children when, out of nowhere, her husband started getting sick.

“He was ill for four days and then he was taken to the hospital,” she said. “I never saw him again.”

Asal didn’t just lose the person she loved that day. She lost the simple comfort of knowing she could feed her family.

A crisis like no other

Coronavirus is truly a crisis like no other. In every country we work in, the outbreak of this disease, and the related economic impact, is making it harder for families to earn a decent living and feed their children, and for children to get the education they deserve.

“I have no way to provide food for my children,” said Asal. “I do not have any way of earning money to feed my children.”

No mother should have to worry about her kids getting enough to eat, especially after such a terrible loss.

Hope is needed now more than ever

Even after everything she’s been through, Asal is determined to find a way to rebuild her life. Thankfully, she’s not alone. She is a member of a self-help group funded by CAFOD to help women in the area build their skills and fulfil their potential.

We have been working in Afghanistan to empower women to take a more active role in their finances so they can help earn enough money to support their families. This is an ongoing project, but since the coronavirus outbreak a reliable income has become more important than ever.

The self-help group helps women manage their savings and make loans to members hoping to start businesses. Through the group, Asal and others like her can also receive training on bookkeeping, the importance of women’s involvement in family finances, and a range of vocational training in skills such as rearing livestock, tailoring and how to market their businesses.

“My only hope is the self-help group,” says Asal. “I am planning to request some chickens so I can start a small poultry farm. Through that I would be able to make enough to buy food and have some income in my life.”

It’s a simple dream, but it is enough to give Asal hope. And hope is needed now more than ever.

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