A new DACAAR video shows how carpenter training and a start-up grant for tools has changed the life of returning refugee, Mr. Ajab Khan for the better.
By Zohal Nasrat
“Before I received carpentry training, I was a casual laborer working for about 300 AFN (3.75 USD) per day. It was not enough, and we had a lot of financial problems.” Mr. Ajab Khan says.
He is a returnee from Pakistan and lives in a household of 14 family members - six females and eight males - in the Bagrami district in the small village of Haji Munji which is just an hour east of Kabul.
He received 6 months of vocational skills training including carpentry from DACAAR in 2017.
“I graduated and got a certificate. Now,I am teaching others carpentry and earn from 1,000 up to 1,500 AFN per day (12,5 to 19 USD). I have trained two students as apprentices, and they are now working for me.” Ajab Khan says.
Important to read and write
As part of the vocational skills training, DACAAR also teaches trainees literacy and numeracy. Ajab Khan learned these life skills and his opinion towards education changed.
“I did not study at school, but the vocational training taught me how to write numbers in English. Now when I take an order at work, I know how to write the customers’ names and that is why I am happy.” he says and adds:
“My brothers are now going to school and they are working with me after classes. I support them in their studies and I reckon their future will be good.”
DACAAR also provided Ajab Khan with all the necessary machines in order to start his own business.
“When I graduated I could not buy the machinery, but DACAAR provided me with a start-up grant.” he says.
A good income
Now Ajab Khan earns about 30,000 AFN (375 USD) per month in his own shop with his two students (apprentices). This is more than a senior level government employee earns.
He is very satisfied with his carpentry shop and he points out that he thinks that DACAAR should continue to provide such vocational training to youths who are jobless and not in school.
“I would like DACAAR to provide such training to others as well. It doesn't matter what the vocational skills are, it could be carpentry or tailoring or something else. It will prevent them from hanging out in the streets.” he added.
Read more about DACAAR’s Small-Scale Enterprise Development interventions here.
The programme is aimed at promoting business development and employment opportunities among Afghan youth and farmers.
Contributions: Dagmar Ruehrig, Jan Kjær, Abdul Mateen