ZiBA Spotlights

 
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We're committed to Afghanistan's most important resource — its women.


For so many of the women who make our company great, ZiBA is more than a job. We're often their first taste of financial independence, continuing education, and the development of skills to secure a better future. These are the stories of just a few of the women who make it all possible. 

 
 Freshta’s world changed forever when she was forced to drop of out of school to marry a stranger at just 16. From her middle-class upbringing, Freshta now lived in a shared house with her husband, his four brothers, and all of their wives and children. Making matters worse, her husband became addicted to opium. Freshta came to ZiBA after working up the courage to leave him and take their four children. The daughter of an engineer, Freshta was right at home learning to operate the equipment on the factory floor. With her regular paycheck, Freshta can now provide her children with the access to education she never had.

Freshta’s world changed forever when she was forced to drop of out of school to marry a stranger at just 16. From her middle-class upbringing, Freshta now lived in a shared house with her husband, his four brothers, and all of their wives and children. Making matters worse, her husband became addicted to opium. Freshta came to ZiBA after working up the courage to leave him and take their four children. The daughter of an engineer, Freshta was right at home learning to operate the equipment on the factory floor. With her regular paycheck, Freshta can now provide her children with the access to education she never had.

 Belquis left her job at ZiBA in 2016 for a single day and returned the next to say she'd missed her post and her coworkers. Belquis and her husband have been happily married since they were both 18, but decades of her husband’s consistently low salaries had always left the couple and their five children struggling to make ends meet. She joined ZiBA in 2015 and has since mastered all aspects of production — from quality control to sorting and packing. Even operating the machinery. Today, the team at ZiBA couldn't imagine the company without her.

Belquis left her job at ZiBA in 2016 for a single day and returned the next to say she'd missed her post and her coworkers. Belquis and her husband have been happily married since they were both 18, but decades of her husband’s consistently low salaries had always left the couple and their five children struggling to make ends meet. She joined ZiBA in 2015 and has since mastered all aspects of production — from quality control to sorting and packing. Even operating the machinery. Today, the team at ZiBA couldn't imagine the company without her.

 Before joining ZiBA, Noorzia’s life was bitter-sweet. At just 18, she was forced to marry her cousin and move to his remote, rural village. After obtaining a divorce, she returned home with their two children and found employment — and independence — at ZiBA. She later remarried, but her husband started a family with another woman and would regularly steal Noorzia’s salary from her. She struggled to get a divorce but her husband vanished. While the situation is still delicate, Noorzia says working next to friends in the aroma of apricots makes every day a gift.

Before joining ZiBA, Noorzia’s life was bitter-sweet. At just 18, she was forced to marry her cousin and move to his remote, rural village. After obtaining a divorce, she returned home with their two children and found employment — and independence — at ZiBA. She later remarried, but her husband started a family with another woman and would regularly steal Noorzia’s salary from her. She struggled to get a divorce but her husband vanished. While the situation is still delicate, Noorzia says working next to friends in the aroma of apricots makes every day a gift.

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Mehrya

The plant manager at ZiBA's primary facility in Kabul, Mehrya was born the daughter of a diplomat, which afforded her the rare opportunity to receive a formal education. First in Tajikistan, where her father was posted; then later in Afghanistan at Kabul University, where she graduated with a degree in journalism. Now married with a young daughter of her own, Mehrya joined ZiBA in 2017 where she oversees all of the staff — both men and women alike — and acts as Deputy General Manager. 

 Basbegum’s talent for hand-selecting only her region’s best almonds for export has given her and her seven children hope for the future. A mother and grandmother, Basbegum became the sole provider for her family when her husband was sent to prison for opium trafficking, but since joining ZiBA in 2015, she's relieved to have found steady employment and a regular paycheck for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Basbegum’s talent for hand-selecting only her region’s best almonds for export has given her and her seven children hope for the future. A mother and grandmother, Basbegum became the sole provider for her family when her husband was sent to prison for opium trafficking, but since joining ZiBA in 2015, she's relieved to have found steady employment and a regular paycheck for the first time in nearly 50 years.

 Nooria’s husband died unexpectedly not long after their arranged marriage at 21 years old. She and their six children were devastated — and now financially dependent on her late husband’s brother in their remote village in the Parwan province. Determined to provide for her family, Nooria traveled to the ZiBA facility in Kabul and quickly climbed the ranks, making herself an invaluable member of the team. 

Nooria’s husband died unexpectedly not long after their arranged marriage at 21 years old. She and their six children were devastated — and now financially dependent on her late husband’s brother in their remote village in the Parwan province. Determined to provide for her family, Nooria traveled to the ZiBA facility in Kabul and quickly climbed the ranks, making herself an invaluable member of the team. 

 Married at just 14, Farzana never knew financial independence until joining ZiBA in 2015. Having already worked in a dried-fruit facility in Iran, she proved herself to be an invaluable addition to the ZiBA team. But when her brother learned of her career, he forbid her from working and forced her to return home to their rural village in the province of Panjshir. Her ZiBA family wants her to know that her job will always be waiting for her. We miss you, Farzana!

Married at just 14, Farzana never knew financial independence until joining ZiBA in 2015. Having already worked in a dried-fruit facility in Iran, she proved herself to be an invaluable addition to the ZiBA team. But when her brother learned of her career, he forbid her from working and forced her to return home to their rural village in the province of Panjshir. Her ZiBA family wants her to know that her job will always be waiting for her. We miss you, Farzana!

 

Opportunity is the greatest gift.

ZiBA employees receiving English lessons at the main facility in Kabul.