Afghanaid works in villages across Afghanistan to strengthen local governance and put local people at the forefront of decisions which affect their lives. We work with villages like Malika’s to democratically elect inclusive and representative Community Development Councils. We then support them to identify solutions to their most pressing challenges and to make the most of their resources. Together, we have established more than 8,500 of these councils, reaching close to 7,457,000 people across the country.

“I live with my husband and our four children in a rural village on the side of a mountain, along with my brother and his family as well.

I am the elected Vice Chair of the council established here by Afghanaid. My family are very supportive, they say that it is a great honour to have a member of our family in such a position. Plus, I am the first ever female Vice Chair in my village! In the past, I could not do much outside of our house but now I am much more confident -  I did not have the opportunity to go to school, so I am illiterate, but I have a passion to work for my community and now I know I have the capacity to do so too! Everyone in my community, both the men and women, voted for me and now I have the responsibility to work for them and in turn they respect me more.

In the past, our village did not have good roads and we were cut off from the centre of the district, the markets and the nearest hospital. This meant, for example, that when pregnant women were going into labour they could not reach the hospital in time and many of them died as a result. Thanks to our training, we knew how to come together as a council and discuss these issues and find the best solution for us. We identified that we needed to rebuild a road and Afghanaid supported us to do so. Now we can easily reach the hospital when women are in labour or if someone is sick, and we can go to the market to buy food or sell the blankets and mats which we make here in the village.

One of the major problems for my village is that we have long, cold winters lasting about five months, and in the last few years we have also suffered from drought during the summer. This means that our water reservoir is now empty and our livestock and crops are suffering. As a result of this, many members of our community do not have enough food and people are worried that their families will not be able to cope. At the beginning of the year, the council discussed this issue and decided to create a food bank, so that we can support vulnerable members of our community. All members of the community who were able to do so contributed items to the food bank, and we sell our handmade mats at the market to create a fund from which we can purchase food or household items for village members who are in times of crisis.

 

I have big hopes for our future. I plan to improve the education system, so that all of my children can get a good education - my sons and my daughters alike. I know that if the education facilities improve, then our children will be able to improve their lives. I also hope to implement education and training courses for women in the future, so that we can continue to make our community better and, then, make it even better than that!”

Find out more:

How we give people the power in their own development.

Our work with women.

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