Nadia* lives with her husband and their four children in a remote village in Northern Afghanistan. Like many in her region, the family relies on livestock to get by. Despite this, Nadia never had the opportunity to learn how best to care for her animals, meaning her six goats, cow and donkey often became ill or lame. Goats and cows are a key source of food and income for rural Afghan families, with donkeys playing a central role in the transportation of people, goods and water, as well as agricultural cultivation and construction work. Due to this vital role livestock play, it is imperative that these animals stay healthy and strong.

With support from Afghanaid, Nadia was able to learn how to ensure her animals stayed in the best possible condition: “Before Afghanaid, I did not know how to get the best out of our animals. I used to load my donkey a lot and the back of my donkey would get wounded, but now I know how to properly care for the donkey and other animals for my work. When I load my donkey, I put a soft cloth under the load to prevent the donkey’s back from getting injured… Once my donkey body was injured, so I bought wound medicine from the vet and used it until the wound was healed.”

Now I know how to properly care for the donkey and other animals for my work.

On top of learning how to care for her livestock, Nadia also learned how to make her own milk, cheese, butter, and qurut (a strained yoghurt popular in the region), which allowed her to capitalise on the resources she had to feed her family better, as well as sell surplus produce to others in her community. This helped her to gain financial independence, but also increased the availability of nutritious food in the community, supporting other families to improve their health too. Nadia’s husband told us how important this had been to their family: “Before Afghanaid we tried to make these things, and we did not pay much attention to their quality and we did not observe good hygiene practices, and we were not able to make much. Now we can sell the extra that our family doesn’t need…it is a good source of income.” 

Nadia explained how she could sell 7kg of qurut for around 800/900 Afghanis at the local market, an amount which enables her to buy necessities for the family, and keep her children fed and warm. At this challenging time in Afghanistan, the ability to have a reliable source of food and income provides an invaluable safety net to rural Afghan families.

Recognising the transformative nature of this training, and how beneficial it would be to others in her community, Nadia made sure to teach others what she had learnt: “When I got home, the village women who were not involved in the project would gather together. I would inform them of the activities I was taking part in, and share the skills I had learned with them… it was a very useful and informative project.”

By supporting Afghanaid, you can help more women like Nadia take better care of their animals, feed their families and make it through these challenging times. Set up a regular gift today to invest in a change that lasts:

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*Please note, her name has been changed to protect her privacy.