July 10, 2024

Incubating hope: Khadija’s story of resilience from Afghanistan

When 21-year old Khadija lost her father, her family lost everything. Two years later, she has built a thriving business raising chickens.

Khadija arranges eggs in her incubator.



Two years ago, Khadija, a 21-year-old from the Dehdadi district of Afghanistan, faced a life-altering tragedy. The sudden loss of her father, the sole breadwinner of the family, left Khadija and her family helpless. As the oldest of three children, Khadija’s two younger brothers, aged 11 and 16, and her mother, were depending on her. With limited education and few opportunities in Afghanistan, Khadija felt the weight of her family’s future resting on her shoulders.

Khadija adds feed to a food holder in her chicken coop.Desperate for a way to support her family, Khadija was determined. She sought help from neighbors and friends, but nothing resulted in a stable income for her family. 

In October 2022, a glimmer of hope arrived when BRAC launched a livelihood project in Afghanistan and invited Khadija to participate. Through a comprehensive 36-day training program, she learned how to rear chickens and use an incubator to help eggs hatch. The training helped Khadija build her technical skills, expand her knowledge, and boost her confidence. 

After the training, Khadija received an incubator, a battery, solar panels, wiring, a lamp, switches, feeding and water bowls, chick feed, and $1160 in cash to help launch her own poultry farming venture. Equipped with these resources, Khadija embarked on her journey as an entrepreneur raising chickens.

Khadija places an egg in her incubator.Khadija’s incubator, with a capacity for 96 eggs, has yielded an excellent success rate: She hatches an average of 90 chickens in a cycle, which typically takes around 36 to 40 days. Since launching her business, Khadija has raised nine cycles of chickens: more than 800 chickens in about a year. She sells about 60 chickens per cycle, earning her a net income of 3500-4000 Afghani (approximately $50 USD) per cycle. 

Khadija raises the remaining chickens herself, providing her family with a steady supply of eggs and a critical source of protein. Her chickens produce at least a dozen eggs daily, and after setting aside a few eggs for her family’s consumption, she sells her surplus at the local market. She sells 8-11 eggs per day for around 8 Afghani ($0.11) each, further boosting her income.

From having nothing to building a thriving business at the age of 23, Khadija’s transformation is truly inspirational. With her hard-earned money, Khadija is successfully supporting her family as its primary breadwinner, enabling her to purchase items like carpets and kitchen tools for their home.

Khadija now dreams of expanding her poultry business, aspiring to greater success and a lasting impact on her family’s future. She is determined to continue her journey of resilience. From a place of despair, she has transformed into a pillar of strength for her family, lighting the path to a promising future.