Mah Jan creating beautiful clothing.
As a young mother in Afghanistan, Mah Jan shared the same worries as millions of women around the world who lack access to paid work:
How can I earn money for myself and my family?
How can I ensure a brighter future for my children?
How can I support the women and girls in my community?
Mah Jan’s story is typical of girls born into poor, uneducated families in Central Asia. Her childhood years were difficult. Problems at home forced her to drop out of school in the seventh grade. She married very young and soon found herself with six children. She was expected to stay home, raise the children, and do the household chores. So Mah Jan made the only choice available to her; she put her dream of getting an education on hold.
On hold, but not forgotten.
Hope came alive again years later when, at the age of 38, Mah Jan enrolled in a literacy and vocational training program funded by Central Asia Institute. She spent nine months improving her literacy skills, then focused her attention on learning how to sew. Within six months, she had completed a tailoring course and was hired by the program staff to teach tailoring to other students.
Read Mah Jan's Full Story Here