Sediqa from Herat resembles many other young Afghan women in that she comes from a large and supportive family, she has a sound university education, had a desire to put her education to professional use, but yet she remained unable to find a job. Except there is one major difference with Sediqa - she is blind. A strong character, Sediqa remained independent throughout her life,and refused to succumb to her disability. She completed secondary and university education in the Faculty of Law with the help of her family by recording lectures and then listening to their playback and discussing the lessons with her family each night.
“My family understood I have more than eyes; I can see the world through my heart and this allows me to see with my mind so I see what others do not; I never felt impaired” says this remarkable young lady.
While obtaining a degree in law, Sediqa also enrolled in a local Braille center and learned how to use a Braille machine in order to translate Dari books into Braille. But even with her specialized education, Sadiqa was unable to find a job. Upon completion of her university, Sediqa came to know about USAID”S Promote Women in the Economy (WIE) national internship program, to which she applied. She was soon placed in a six-month internship within the National Association of Roshandelan (blindness). Sadiqa was later hired as a full time employee where she helps other visually- impaired young people through her work translating Dari books into Braille. Books are read aloud to her, and she inputs the content into the Braille machine so other blind people can then read.
“My work provides light in a dark world for me and others like me. I am proud of my job, and the fact that I can now financially help support my family in thanks to the many years that they supported me during my earlier studies,” says Sediqa.
“My internship and continuing work in this organization is so rewarding. I learn from my colleagues who are not blind, and they learn how and what I see too. We are continually leaning from one another and exchanging ideas. I am so thankful to my family’s ongoing support and the opportunity this internship opened for me; it allowed my disability to become my calling,” addsSadiqa.
WIE offers private sector and female workforce development in 30 provinces across the country in partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs, and the Disabled ( MoLSAMD). The program supports educated women in finding new or better jobs through career counseling, internship and job placement services, and technical skills training based on market demand.