Shaima Hosaini: Bag Maker

Shaima Hosaini was displaced from Bamyan Province to Herat ten years ago. She lives in Jebrail District with her parents, three sisters, and two brothers. “When we moved to Herat we faced a lot of problems.” Shaima said. Her father is disabled but her mother is an artisan and was the only wage earner in the family. She made high-quality carpets of fleece, and sold them in the market. “With her limited knowledge of marketing skills, she could not make enough to meet our needs. We suffered from extreme poverty,” Sahima said. Shaima learned how to make bags but she could not maintain a workshop with enough materials to keep her work sustainable. She had no marketing or design skills either.  In June 2019, Shaima met the criteria of the selection committee and joined the Made in Afghanistan project. Shaima stated, “I was provided with the raw materials that helped nourish my productivity.”

WADAN has established a safe and comfortable environment for artisans to work. All beneficiaries are provided with the technical facilities that at the time Shaima started included opening a bank account and currently includes the provision of raw materials, monthly stipends, and trainings to enhance beneficiaries’ capacities in marketing and designing skills. She said, “It was the safest environment I have ever experienced; I gained new skills and took part in several exhibitions arranged by WADAN. I now understand how to communicate with different customers, take orders, and respond to customers’ needs.”

Shaima participated in the project for 18 months and was graduated in December 2020; she reintegrated into the community with a full package of marketing and designing skills. Shaima learned the technical skills of running her own business and now has a private bag-making workshop where she trains five artisans. “We are producing high-quality bags with attractive designs; this is why we have received orders for schoolbags from private schools. From “Made in Afghanistan” I learned how to conduct a market assessment and sell products. This has helped increase my income.”

Shaima can now take care of her ailing father including providing him with medications; she provides food and educational expenses support to her family members and she can also afford to pay salaries to the five artisans in her business. She added, “I am earning approximately AFN 40,000 per month and intend to expand my business to other areas in Herat.”