SO WE INVEST IN EVERYONE
Safi's founding Board of Directors remains in place as committed as ever. But the Advisory Committee is the company's true pipeline of innovation, and every Safi employee is a member. Most had never experienced true freedom of expression and gender equality. Yet given a chance to be heard -- and feeling safe to speak up -- sparked genuinely great ideas from male and female employees alike. The pride they took in implementing them was inspiring. Leadership flowed up.
Safi General Manager
Born and raised in Kabul, Saleem has been our general manager from the beginning. Early on, Safi recognized his many gifts and sponsored him to earn an MBA at The American University of Afghanistan. Under Saleem's leadership, Safi's business expanded dramatically. His expertise in textile management and production is unrivaled in the country, and his ability to bridge Afghan and Western cultures made Safi's diversity a great strength. Also, Saleem's English is better than many native westerners we know!
Azada was the third wife of an Afghan car dealer with wives in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Exiled in Pakistan, she endured cruelty and abuse from her husband “because I had no choice.” Eventually, Azada’s father permitted her to divorce the man and she returned to Kabul to support her growing children. Safi met Azada and her big smile through Women for Women International (WFWI) and she excelled as a tailor. Azada says that, aside from her children, her most prized possession is her employment certificate. “I never thought that one day I would have the opportunity to support myself without a man. Now I can do it! I am doing it!”
Quality Control Inspector
Zia Gul was a 27-year-old mother of four children with no formal education or job training. Her husband worked as a ragman, but his modest earnings were never enough to support their family. They lived a life of hardship and poverty, struggling to feed their children. But Zia Gul was one of the lucky women who completed the WFWI training program and went to work for Safi. “I faced so many difficulties in my life, but now I am full of relief and happy because I can support my family economically,” she says. “I hope that they can expand their activities so more women of Afghanistan can be helped in the right way."
Shamail was a 30-year-old housewife with three children, struggling to survive on her husband’s salary as a laborer. WFWI introduced her to Safi. Although she had no formal training or education, Shamail passed multiple interviews and technical tests. So she was accepted into Safi's three-month training program and then hired as a full-time employee. Shamail says she is proud to help pay for family expenses and school fees. Her success has inspired other women in the community to follow the same path.
Pashton is a 35-year-old widow who lost her husband in the war. She experienced countless economic difficulties as a single mother of six children. Pashton was introduced to Safi by WFWI. She is a very intelligent and a diligent worker, who quickly learned new tailoring skills during training. Her work at Safi changed her life. "I used to have many difficulties, but now I have few," she says. "With my salary from Safi, I can send all my children to school and contribute to my community."