Toorpekai’s thriving new business and boundless self-confidence illustrate the change that can come about when Afghan women learn that they have legal rights. Four decades after she lost her father, Toorpekai received her share of his property, changing her life forever.
It is an upbeat statement and Mr Mohammad goes on to explain why the building work was so important. The school was so badly damaged, he recalls, that most of the classrooms and toilets were unusable. “The doors and windows were broken,” he adds. It made for low morale among students and teachers alike. Every day, fewer children came to class and many teachers sought work elsewhere. Shamal High School’s decline was a matter of great concern because it was the only one in the district.
It took just $2,000 to transform Bibi Sediqa Musawi’s house. But it changed her life and that of her soldier husband and their three children. Till she heard about home improvement loans, the family lived in a cramped windowless house without a kitchen or a front door. It was all they could afford.
Abdul Matin is hard at work in his ceramics workshop in Kabul but he regards each turquoise bowl as so much more than a piece of pottery. To Mr Matin, it represents the history and traditions of Afghanistan, more than 400 years of creative skills passed down from generation to generation.
Last updated: August 27, 2015