One Afghan War Widow's Story
Author: TAPS International
Negina is a brave widow who has been part of the TAPS International Afghan Hope Project since 2019, a project that empowers Afghan widows by providing them with job opportunities and financial support. Her husband, Kareem, had served in the Afghan National Army for seven years before he was killed while on duty in Helmand, one of Afghanistan's most dangerous provinces.
Kareem's service in the army required him to spend most of the year away from his family, leaving Negina to take care of their three children and work a full-time job. Despite earning only 3000 Afghanis per month (around $34), Negina was proud to contribute to her family's expenses and support her husband's service.
However, everything changed when Negina received the devastating news of Kareem's death. When Kareem died, Negina was six months pregnant and struggling with illness. Tragically Negina suffered a miscarriage and was unable to work. Without Kareem's income, the family faced severe financial hardship and had no one to turn to for help.
Thankfully, TAPS International was able to step in to help. Through the Afghan Hope Project, Negina was able to work from home as an artisan, making bracelets that were sold in the US to support the widows' wages. The income allowed Negina to resume her daughter Marina's medical treatment for leprosy, a dangerous skin disease. Life seemed to be improving for the family, but then tragedy struck again when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.
With the Taliban's new restrictions on women's rights, Negina's future and that of other widows became uncertain. The Taliban has banned women from working outside the home and requires them to be accompanied by male family members when leaving the house. For widows like Negina, who have lost their husbands and their only source of income, the situation is particularly dire.
However, TAPS International remains committed to helping the widows in Afghanistan. Despite having to suspend its operations there, TAPS International is still providing aid and support to women like Negina through donations and fundraising efforts. The organization's volunteers in Kabul are buying and distributing food baskets to the widows, providing them with essential supplies and some hope during these difficult times.
Negina's story is just one of many examples of the hardships that Afghan widows face. Through the Afghan Hope Project and other initiatives, TAPS International is working to create opportunities for these women and help them rebuild their lives in the face of adversity. To support widows like Negina, you can shop items from the Afghan Hope Collection or donate a food package. With continued support from donors and volunteers, we can make a real difference in the lives of Afghan widows and their families.