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Transforming Lives

Halima displays a dress that she has embroidered in the cherma dozi style. Cherma dozi is a tradition in Afghan culture. Gold an

Halima Khan, a 26 year old Afghan woman, has found hope and economic independence through instruction she is receiving in literacy, gender awareness, and the art of cherma dozi – a traditional form of Afghan embroidery.  Halima is one of 120 vulnerable women in the Aryub Jaji District of Paktya participating in a USAID program to provide women with educational opportunities and job skills. 

Ghor residents gravel a road and dig a drainage ditch to prevent flooding. Improved roads allow better access to markets, school

Ghor province lies in the central highlands of Afghanistan, remote and lightly populated.  Its self-reliant population of 615,000 is accustomed to harsh winters and the isolation that results from road closures.  With rich pasturelands, livestock is the chief source of income.  However, the need for external support became more pronounced due to returning refugees and high global food and fuel prices. 

A poultry farmer tends to her chickens in Qalat, Zabul.

Bibi Derkho, a farmer in Afghanistan, has sent her children back to school after opening her own poultry business in Qalat district of Zabul province.  “Before, my children were working to support the family,” she said, “and now I am supporting the family and the children are going to school.”  Bibi Derkho is one of 180 women selected by local government representatives to attend a six-month training in home-based poultry rearing. 

A farmer in Wardak inspects his apple crop. In early November 2009, USAID helped farmers in Wardak and Paktya export their apple

In early November 2009, Afghan farmers made history with the first-ever export of their apples to India.  The country’s farmers now have the opportunity to introduce their apples – some of the crunchiest, sweetest, and largest in the region – to the biggest market in South and Central Asia.  USAID worked with a local trader to facilitate a trial shipment of three metric tons of apples to India.

Women in Kunduz Province learn how to use combs to harvest valuable cashmere from their goats.

Until recently, Afghans used their goats only for their milk, meat, wool, and leather. Now, more than 170,000 male and female goat herders are aware of the high value of cashmere and the proper methods to harvest and market this commodity.


Last updated: July 26, 2017

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