Zarmina’s hard work makes her achieve big

It is 10:25AM, Zarmina is busy with her customers in her shop. After four years, she is a well-known shopkeeper in the society and Oglan village, Sholgara district in Balkh province. She is one of the many other girls, who struggles with all these economic and cultural problems. She always dreamt of having a job to support her family and her education.

In 2015, when she heard about Rural Development Programme’s Self-help groups, she joined one of them. Every week she saved around 50 Afghanis in a box dedicated for savings by the group and after several days she thought of opening her own shop and she then requested for a loan of 10, 000 Afghanis from the Self-help group to buy the goods for her shop.

She says: “It is almost four years that I have shop in our village. For me, it was difficult to start and run a shop. But I struggled and work hard to do this.”

At the same time, completing her higher education was one of her dreams. She added: “I was sure that running a shop will help me find a way to pursue my higher education and I was right. Now my dreams came true and I graduated from university and have a bachelor’s degree.”

Farima, a customer who came to Zarmina’s shop to buy goods says: “Zarmina is an example of struggle and hardworking. For us, this is much easier to come here and buy goods. She continued her higher education and supporting her family since many years.”

Zarmina is committed to continue her business and she has big dreams. “I want to continue and have a big shop in the district center. I shared 3000 Afs to buy a land in the village. I will sell that again and will see how much benefits I will earn” said Zarmina.

Since 2015, SCA's Rural Development Programme created 540 Self-Help Groups in Balkh and Samangan provinces, and it has 8321 members out of which 5,224 are women and 3,097 are men