Zarie always liked going to school, she was an excellent pupil. Unfortunately, she had to quit school after she finished 8th grade and her dreams for a higher education were extinguished.
“Back in my time girls didn’t get an education therefore I wasn’t allowed to go to school after I finished 8th grade. I really wanted to continue but that was the way things were at that time. I married at the age of 18 into a wonderful and honest family. I read a newspaper called Rilindja every day, it helped me learn new things. I didn’t have the opportunity to find employment so I stayed home and raised my children, four boys and one girl, and took care of the household”.
During the war Zarie and her family hid in the mountains for three months. They had no food for the children, except for a few pieces of dry bread and some water. Her youngest son who was only 7 months old faced serious health problems due to the cold weather and lack of food. After the war Zarije continued taking care of her family and the household.
“In 2014 I registered the WfWI program in Kaçanik. I was 50 years old then. I met other women whom I became very good friends with and I found myself there, I found out that I still can do something for myself. For me WfWI program was like school, trainings for social empowerment and economic empowerment helped me a lot and I reaped the benefit in the end. After graduation I established my own agriculture association “Stina” with the help of WfWI staff. Today a number of 100 women are members of my association. We collect medicinal and aromatic herbs and forest fruits. After the successful establishment of the association I started my own business. This business helps women and young people from the municipality of Kaçanik and Ferizaj to sell the medicinal herbs and forest fruits in shopping malls”.
Zarie teaches other women what she learned at WfWI program and uses her own experience to motivate them. She is also a beneficiary of an drying tunnel that she uses as a tool to help other women because this way she can collect/buy herbs collected by other women. In 2016 Zarije also finished secondary school in Kacanik, Business Management.
“I do my best to help other women, especially those who don’t do anything else besides household chores. I motivate them to do more agricultural work and generate income”.
“I dedicate my achievements to WfWI where I learned all that I needed to move forward and get where I am today. I am also grateful to my family for their continued support. I will take this opportunity to wish success to all women and tell them that everything can be achieved with strong will power and determination. We just must not give up” – says Zarie.