Success stories from Self Help Group (SHG) members abound in Afghanistan. Operation Mercy has over 900 such groups currently empowering women and their families.
Zainab, a Self Help Group (SHG) member from the Yakatoot area, said; "I joined the Jaala SHG two years ago and I have been working as the group's book writer. I'm 21 years old and I have one small child. I studied up to grade ten then I got married. My husband is an illiterate man. During the war, we immigrated to Iran. My husband learned how to make shoes in Iran. When we came back from Iran, my husband could not find a job.
After I received training in business I decided to start a small business for my husband because he had the skill of making shoes. I took three loans and invested into his business. He bought shoe making materials and started his work. I also assisted him in making shoes at home.' She continues, "Before, I wasn't allowed to go out of my home and I didn't have any relationship with my neighbors but now I buy all the household items needed for our home by myself. In fact, my life has become better than ever before. Three months before I set the goal to improve my husband's business, I took a loan of 30,000 Afs. In the first month he bought the shoe-making materials. Next I borrowed 66,000Afs to extend his business even more. Most of the shopkeepers in the city center have been interested in buying his product. He has a monthly net benefit of 15,000 Afs. He is able to meet all the expenses of our house. He has 100,000 Afs in capital for his shop. All the success of my life is because of the SHG and my vision is to extend my husband's work".