The Madina Association from Afghanistan
In Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, the Madina Association provides income, employment, and training to more than 30 women and five men. Hand-crafting beautiful jewelry from local gemstones, Madina's artisans can rely on steady wages in order to provide for their families and they receive vocational training and have the opportunity to take courses in health, literacy and women's rights.
Estoria, aged 35, lives in Kabul with her six children and her husband, who is employed as a mason. She has been making jewelry with the Madina Association for two years, benefiting from numerous workshops in women's rights and health. Estoria was left partially paralyzed from a car accident but has found a steady income and important support system with Madina. She says that "she enjoys the community of women she works with" as well as helping provide for her household. Of her six children, two also work with her at Madina, and all of them are able to attend school.
Raised in a time of war and oppression by the Taliban, Nuria was never able to pursue an education. When the Taliban fell in late 2001, this barrier was lifted, and Nuria began to make up for lost time. Through the Madina Association, Nuria has been able to take school courses and has received important vocational training. At the age of 25, she is now a 10th grade student.
When Nuria was 19, a bomb exploded near her home, causing a shrapnel injury that left her handicapped. Nuria lives with her parents in Kabul, and now has a steady income through the Madina Association. She says that "she feels blessed to be a part of this association."