Like most of the rest of the world, Afghanistan has shut down a large part of its economy to try to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With the many parts of the country under lockdown, many communities are struggling to access basic goods and services, and people are finding it challenging to find the means to support themselves. This is exacerbated by the instability and violence that continues to plague the country as it tries to recover from decades of war and conflict.
However, we are also seeing countless examples of communities coming together to support each other through the crisis.
Meet Lina and Nooria. Both women are graduates of our business development program. They established successful small businesses – Lina in tailoring and Nooria in food processing. When the Coronovirus crisis hit both women saw an opportunity to use their skills and business acumen to help their communities and allow them to continue to support their families.
Lina quickly put down the dresses and tunics she had been producing and switched to sewing protective masks. Not only is she reducing the spread of the disease, she is also continuing to bring in enough income to feed her children.
Nooria is the owner of a small food processing business. Now, with lockdown rolling out across the country, stores closing and trade with neighbouring countries significantly reduced, Nooria saw that her neighbours were finding it hard to find food. She immediately increased her production to meet demand and is now selling shelf-safe products around her community.
We are inspired to see how these women, who just a few years ago had no experience in business and no means to support themselves and their families, have now transformed their newly-learned skills to become an integral response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
None of this would be possible without the support of generous Canadians like you. This is a hard time for all of us but anything you can donate will make a huge difference in some of the most vulnerable communities – communities that must be supported if we are to seriously address this global crisis.