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Transforming Lives

A worker at Kabul Mosaic pours concrete into new paving tile molds

People walk all over Mohammad Reza’s business, and he couldn’t be happier about it. His company, based in Kabul, was recently awarded a large contract to produce more than 300,000 square feet of mosaic tile to pave nearly 4.5 miles of sidewalk in the city.

Shakila, 20, the owner of 70 small ruminant herds in Aqcha district of Jowzjan province

Twenty-year old Shakila has never enjoyed the casual warmth and style of a cashmere sweater. “Keeping goats and sheep for more than a decade I honestly didn’t recognize its value,” she told an interviewer visiting northern Jowzjan province recently.

Roya with two of her nine children at her bakery in downtown Kabul

Roya, a 40-year-old mother of nine, is the sole provider for her children. She works throughout the day to bake the distinctive Afghan flatbread known as naan in a windowless room. Her face is swaddled in a covering both white with flour and dark with soot.

Zakia Roshan, operations manager at Mazatoo Food Production

Most Afghans enjoy candy with their tea every day. The market for candy is strong.

Abdul Hadi, farmer in southern Kandahar

Abdul Hadi has been farming for almost 10 years in his Southern Kandahar village. Tending his crops, however, was always a struggle because of the decrepit irrigation infrastructure available to the area. “Less than half of the farmers could afford to irrigate their farmland by water-pumps and the rest of the lands were left barren. Even some of the farmers were obligated to leave their villages”, Hadi asserted during a rare break from surveying his crops. The winter is particularly difficult for Hadi because like most area farmers, he cannot grow and is forced to purchase imported vegetables from Pakistan.

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Last updated: October 24, 2016

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