Selling Ice-Cream is Happiness

Selling Ice-Cream is Happiness

Summer! The season that have more warmth for people in Balkh province.

Yet, this season has many beauties with its delicious melons, complimenting this sweet will be kind of hospitality for every newly arrived traveler to Balkh people.

Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, is among those rare ministries that everyone is familiar with their name; in the meantime, it has brought positive changes in villagers’ life through various programs in Balkh province.

Women Economic Empowerment Rural Development Program (WEE-RDP) is one of the major programs throughout the country, covering 9152 person during its 5 years activities in Balkh Province.

Dehdadi, is one of the five districts in Balkh whose residents are members of WEE-RDP’s SHGs.

40 years old Maleka Hakimi is living in Shir Abad village of Dehdadi district, with happy face and sizzling eyes she talks about poverty and hopelessness.

Maleka has 7 children (Five sons and two daughters) her husband Younes is a blacksmith and their daily wage does not cover their monthly expenses.

Maleka joined WEE-RDP 14 months ago, and since she was literate enough, she appointed as a leader of Durakhshan SHG and EG in Shir Abad village.

Maleka describing what happens as a spark of hope in the maze of her life:

Last June, on a sizzling day when my son came home from school at noon, he made Altonsa powder as juice and put it in the fridge and after a while the juice got frozen.

My son went outside home with orange glacier in his hand, other children were surprised by the orange ice and each of them asked him to give them the ice. At the end a teenage boy bought the ice from my son for two AFN.

When my son returned home, he told me the story and gave me the money to save for him. Hearing this issue, I thought about it, and the next day I borrowed 500 AFN from Self Help Group, bought a few tubular cans, Altonsa powder and Doogh, so I could make colorful ice cubes with different flavors.

"By doing so, a large number of locals people bought ice cream from me, and now I make 200 cans of ice cream a day in two flavors of fruit and Doogh, and I earn 200 AFN in a day.

Maleka, who was not educated in formal school but learned to read and write in a religious school in their village, by selling ice cubes now she can effort her children educations needs and hopes bright future for them.

Her two sons have newly engaged, so she encouraged her brides to join SHGs and EGs so they could earn money to prepare their dowry.

By addressing other villages’ women in Balkh province she said: "A small occurrence can be the beginning of a bright life, so never be disappointed, and have ambition for their life.