Enabling women in Afghanistan to earn a living
In the deeply gender-segregated culture of Afghanistan, few women find work outside the home. Trapped in their own family compounds, it is rare for a woman to experience the empowerment and freedom that education and employment can bring. In this context, TEAR’s partner Hagar Afghanistan is providing opportunities for women to develop the skills and capacity for work, enabling many to escape the confines of the home environment and earn an income.
This is one woman’s story.
A note to the reader: This story contains details of drug use and…
Every Bollywood movie has a hero; a handsome fellow who saves a helpless maiden from the clutches of a terrible fate. Whether she is trapped in a crashed car poised to topple over a cliff, has been kidnapped by a disreputable would-be suitor, or lies unconscious on a railway track, the brave man will rush in to save her.
Beyond Bollywood, real heroes are a little different. They do exist, but they’re rarely handsome gentlemen. Indeed, they may even be ladies. In the Indian city of Aligarh, Neermala is one of these real heroes.
A note to the reader: this story contains details of domestic…
On the streets of Ethiopia’s capital, the city’s commercial sex trade is flourishing. It is estimated that around 150,000 girls and women work on the streets – or one in ten females over the age of 15. Most have been forced there by poverty – though what they earn will never release them from its grasp.
In this context, TEAR’s partner Ellita – Women at Risk (E-WAR) seeks to enable women involved in prostitution to exit the work through rehabilitation and livelihoods training, and to improve community awareness through education so that fewer women are likely to enter the commercial sex trade…
Poonam Nair (pictured) is a social worker with Saahasee, one of TEAR’s Indian partners. She works in the slums of Thane, on the outskirts of Mumbai, with women’s Self-Help Groups. Through her personal journey, she shares her insight into what happens when women are encouraged to gather, learn their rights, advocate to change their circumstances, and empowered to contribute to improving their communities.
I’m from a very simple background. When I was ten, I lost my mother. I then had to take the responsibility for my younger brother, who was 6 at that time. Being raised by my…
With years of experience living and working in Afghanistan, Phil Sparrow doubted that women’s Self-Help Groups could cross the cultural familial bounds and succeed in this context. Happy to be proven wrong, he recently visited groups which are not only flourishing, but seeking broader social change.
I visited Mazar-i-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan recently. We had lived in Mazar for some years under the Taliban, as TEAR Fieldworkers, and the chance to visit again and reconnect with some old friends and see some new work was one I took up with glee. That’s right, I was gleeful, and you don’t…
The Hebrew name Hagar means “one who flees” or “one who seeks refuge”. The biblical story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, tells the story of women and children who are exploited, trafficked, disabled, and rejected.
In Afghanistan, there are many “Hagars”. TEAR’s partner organisation, Hagar, is working with these vulnerable women and children, many who are survivors of family violence, trafficking and human rights abuse. Staff members are guided by the story of Hagar, asking: “Who has been cast out? Who is without hope? Whose cries are not being heard?”
TEAR supports Hagar’s Empowering Women…
TEAR's Kelly Rae shares the story of a woman named Golapi, who lives in Hasha Mazalia village in North West Bangladesh.
The sun burned down on my neck as I walked with staff from our partner organisation, Symbiosis, along a winding path to reach the village where Golapi lives. As we approached the village, we were welcomed by a group of women and their children, their bright smiles and vibrantly patterned clothes in sharp contrast with the brown dusty surrounds. Looking around, I could see that for people here, life was difficult. Nestled under a huge shady tree, homes were quite small and…
After hours of jolting travel on unsealed roads, and a short boat ride, there is a flurry of excitement and questions when we arrive at Raypasha village in Magura, southern Bangladesh.
Today I’m travelling with TEAR partner Faith in Action. We left early for the field areas where their staff live and work. The project we are visiting helps women form into groups, teaches them basic literacy and numeracy skills, then supports them as they save and access loans for small business activities.
Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries. 44% of children under the age of five are malnourished and there are high levels of maternal and child mortality. Only 43% of the population have access to safe water and just over 11% of the adult population is HIV positive. And yet despite these statistics, people have hope. Hope for their children, hope for their families, hope for a day when things will be different. TEAR partners with Oasis and World Relief in Mozambique. Watch this video, hear their “Hopes for Tomorrow”, and stand with them in prayer and solidarity today.
Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, with changing weather and increased flooding and landslides. TEAR’s Paul Hansen reports on how our partners are working in a variety of ways to support people affected by changes to their environment.
As a trained water and sanitation engineer, I’ve often been accused of having an unhealthy interest in toilets. So it would surprise none of my friends that when one of the members of the Self-Help Group I met on a recent trip to Nepal, a woman named Premi Devi Chaudhary, tells me she has built a biogas1 toilet, I couldn’t help…
"Saahasee is called by God's love to see every poor home in our nation empowered and celebrating life in community where dignity, freedom and justice prevail."
- Saahasee vision statement
Vijay Lakshmi is named after the Hindu goddess of wealth and her name means “successful”. She married early, at around 16, and lives with her husband and his family in a room 3 metres square. Her husband is an unskilled labourer, and when they married, providing food every day was difficult.
Vijay lives in a culture where women are relegated to the fringes of justice, dignity, freedom and, sadly, even…
Afghan women. In the news media, they are most often pictured clothed from head to toe in bright blue burqas. Vision obscured by mesh grilles, so you can’t even see their eyes. Begging on the street. Wailing at the loss of yet another child, a husband, a parent. Or sitting in mute despair at the site of a suicide bomb.
But there are other images of Afghan women, less commonly seen. Women marching to mark International Women’s Day. Women speaking up for their rights using poetry, the written word and the internet. Women taking their place in the National Parliament, or taking roles in the…
It’s not enough to just live; everyone deserves to have the opportunity to live to their full potential.
Keo Chan, her husband and three children were only just getting by.
With little money, they moved in with Keo’s family and shared a small house with two other families. There was not enough rice to go around, and Keo and her husband had to travel to another village to work to feed their family. There was no extra income for daily expenses, like school fees or medicine. If emergencies came up, there was no safety net.
Since TEAR’s partner, World Concern Laos, has been working with…
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