Hagar Afghanistan’s “Empowering Women and Girls Toward Economic Participation” (EWEP) Program

An Afghan women’s right to safe and sustainable work is almost non-existent, especially for those with backgrounds of violence and exploitation. Hagar Afghanistan’s “Empowering Women and Girls Toward Economic Participation” (EWEP) Program seeks to bridge the gap for survivors to enter the formal workplace with confidence, employable skills and positive attitudes. A pre-employment preparation course, personal development workshops, on-the-job training, and job placements in supportive work environments are all elements of the EWEP program. Together, these services provide survivors with dignity, self-sustainability, and choices for their future.

There was a time in our client Mariam’s life when she feared for the future of her family. She said it looked nothing but dark. Her husband was a drug addict, and the more desperate he got for money to fuel his habit, the more dangerous he became. He even tried to sell her children, and she lost all hope of having economic stability and a happy family. But thanks to her incredible determination, and the help of an NGO focused on women’s rights that referred her to Hagar Afghanistan, Mariam’s life changed.

The EWEP program was where it all started for Mariam. She received counselling, learnt basic English, and started working as a cleaner and a cook. Mariam’s progress didn’t stop there. Through career counselling, she decided to attend Midwifery school and, in January this year, graduated as a Midwifery assistant. She currently works in a local hospital bringing new lives into the world. Now, Mariam is able to support her family on a stable salary. Mariam’s life change is helping her to help her husband, and in turn, her whole family. She says that she trusts herself, and that she is moving forward. With the support of Hagar, Mariam’s future is no longer dark, but full of light.