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The project

Created on August 09, 2016 by Hand in Hand International

Afghanistan: great challenges – and great success

Between rising insecurity, restrictive cultural norms and a disparate population spread across difficult terrain, Afghanistan is Hand in Hand’s most challenging operating country. That's exactly why we need to expand.

We've worked in the country since 2007, spreading our proven, individually tailored model throughout 10 provinces. By training mothers and fathers to earn their own sustainable livelihoods, we provide families with an incentive to stay at home in Afghanistan rather than risk the potentially fatal consequences of life as refugees.

So far, we're responsible for:

  • >35,000 members mobilized. Our self-help groups learn, save and start businesses together.
  • >22,500 business established. Members prepare food, rear cattle, weave carpets and more. Our female participation rate in Afghanistan ranges from 50 to 70 percent – far more than the government-set target of 35 percent.
  • >26,000 jobs created. Each job contributes to the country’s fragile post-war development.
  • >15,866 toolkits provided. Sharia and local customary law prohibit the charging of interest, which impairs the usual micro-finance approach. Instead, we provide toolkits that help our members launch businesses in nine accessible, high-margin sectors.
  • >165,000 lives improved. Every business we help create benefits an average of seven family members in Afghanistan.


Become an entrepreneur, not a refugee

Creating jobs through Hand in Hand’s approach changes lives in Afghanistan:

  • Jobs equal development. Decent work and regular incomes result in food security, children's educations, investments in housing/sanitation and better healthcare.
  • We work at the grassroots level, directly with the rural poor. State corruption, which prevents almost a third of development assistance worldwide from reaching its final destination, never has a chance to flourish.
  • Our entrepreneurs make their own success, breaking the cycle of dependency. Our job is complete only when an entrepreneur no longer needs us. That’s the way to sustainable development in Afghanistan, the way to provide an alternative to the life-threatening journey to Europe.


Hand in Hand’s professional and decentralized approach as driver for success

Quote from a recent evaluation by the European Union, March 2016:

“Hand in Hand Afghanistan’s role as an implementing partner is very conducive to achieving the expected results because, being an Afghan Organisation, it has grounded knowledge of the socio-cultural dynamics of the society. It also has experience of implementing similar projects for the Afghan Government and Hand in Hand International. With excellent relations with the Government stakeholders, it brings a wealth of experience and insights to negotiate with challenges on the ground.”


Funding/Implementation Partners EU, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust, UK Aid, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development, Agency Coordination Body for Afghan Relief & Development. Auditor KPMG.


All donations for this project are private for the moment.