I can now buy food for my children – Forgotten Women

I can now buy food for my children

"I am happy to see Shayama as an independent businesswoman, someone who has nurtured and put her all into her business and at the same time still running her household. There was a calmness within Shayama, as I hugged her, I felt the relief she has obtained. the conditions of this family are very basic, but Shayama is driven to make something of her life for the sake of her children. She makes sure her children attend state school, so they do shift work at the shop. I asked Jamal what he would like to be when he is older, he said a doctor, but he loves working at the shop! Shayama is already looking at expansions for her shop – a true businesswoman and surely this is the best form of charity, a hand up." Sunny Bahia, Forgotten Women

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Shayama is a widow and has 5 children, when her husband passed away, she was left with nothing and the situation only got worse due to the lack of opportunities in Afghanistan for both men and women. The countries funds were stolen and frozen after the occupation left which crippled the innocent people of Afghanistan, especially the women.   

Shayama has 5 children, the youngest son is disabled, he is unable to walk and has no feelings in his legs, Shayamatold us that he was not born like this but something that just happened one day. This took a toll on Shayama because she could not leave her son alone and go and beg for money or afford any medical care for him. She said, “The heartache of my son’s health took a toll on me, mentally I became very weak.” 


Shayama was chosen for our rebuilding lives programme because of her drive and passion in wanting a change for herself and her family. She said, “I was worried about each meal, we only ate once a day and that was a small amount, the stress of providing kept me awake.” 

Because of Shayama’s situation with her youngest son needing full time care, we needed a business which wouldallow her to manage from far and at the same time still be present for her son. After much back and forth, Shayama finally came up with a business idea of a shop, her logic was that her son Jamal who is 9 can run the shop in shifts with his other siblings and she requested it to be located outside her home so it will make it easy for her to manage.  

Since Shayama has had the shop, she has reported the following changes in her life: 

– The shop money has now allowed Shayama to take her son to the hospital for medical treatment
– She can now provide for her children 
– She now has no issue paying rent on time
– They eat three meals a day, whereas before she could not afford even a piece of bread
– Shayama has brought new curtains and pillows for her home 

Update on Business: Earning 100-250 Afg a day 

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Forgotten Women