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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
My Day in Afghanistan: Dairy farmer
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Afghanistan coverage on 13 September, we heard from people from all walks of life, all over the country.

Here you can read more from Saima, a widow in Kuz Kanar, who described the struggle of supporting her young family.

My name is Saima and I live in a village in Kuz Kunar district in a small mud hut in the corner of a mud compound owned by my father-in-law.

Four years ago my husband Hanif was killed by the Taleban. He was a member of a private militia, a mujahideen. We were engaged when I was 15 years old.

Saima, widow and dairy farmer
Saima's main form of income is a single cow
He left me with my three beloved sons, Shakir (7), Nusrat (4) and Zakir (3) and no way of supporting myself. Life was a struggle. I had no money and no way of making money.

I made a basic living by serving other people in my village. I would get a loaf of bread or some food as payment. I worked on farms and in houses doing anything.

The International Rescue Committee charity came to my area and donated a cow to me, which changed everything.

Rural problems

I now make a living by milking the cow and selling the milk and yoghurt. I make some money and I also still work as a domestic for other people to get food and basics to help me live from day-to-day.


Every morning I get up at 5am and milk the cow. Some of the milk feeds my children for breakfast and I sell more milk to my neighbours.

Then my eldest son goes to school. The school is only 2km away from the village so he can walk there. While he is away I cook lunch and continue to help local families in exchange for money and bread.

The election campaign has come to my village and the villagers about parliament and what we can do.

I want to give my vote to another woman who serves our community. I was very happy to hear about the election process and I want to encourage other families and particularly women to take part. We need to solve the problems that affect rural areas.

We need good education here. I want all of my sons to go to school.


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