Beauty for Ashes

LivelihoodsWhole PersonMicro Enterprise

Anara* is a young woman full of hope, but it wasn’t always so. Born into a large family in the Central Asian States, she had a tough start to life. Her parents didn’t have permanent jobs, so there was no money for things such as good clothes or toys.

Throughout this challenging upbringing, Anara dreamed of making more of her life. She hoped one day to start her own business, so that she could support her family.

Rock bottom
But then everything fell apart. When Anara was 16, her father left the family. Her mother had to work much more, and no longer had time for her children. This had a profound effect on Anara. She performed poorly at school, quarreled with her mother, and even ran away from home. She’d hit rock bottom.

One day, Anara heard about about some free courses being offered at a resource centre run by one of Tearfund’s partners. The manager of the centre saw huge potential in Anara, and so she was accepted onto a beauty treatment course. Anara threw herself into her studies and, despite being the youngest in the group, she quickly rose to the top of her class.

Hope and belief
After the course finished, Anara got a job at a beauty salon. Receiving her first paycheck was an unforgettable moment: ‘When I went with my mother to buy food, I felt joy and even pride that I could now make a contribution to the family budget,’ Anara recalls, ‘And the main thing, my mother saw that I had become more serious and responsible. She began to trust me more.’

Unfortunately, because of an unforeseen technicality, Anara lost her job at the salon. But she didn't despair. Thanks to the confidence she’d been given by her training at the centre, and the encouragement of the staff there, she brushed off this disappointment with ease. Now she has regular customers whom she sees at home.

With a stable income and plans to train further, Anara looks into the future with hope and belief, trusting in the God who gave her ‘a crown of beauty instead of ashes.’ (Isaiah 61:3)

*Name changed to protect identity.


  • Pray that Anara’s fledgling business will continue to grow, and that her new skills will be a real blessing to her family.

  • Ask God that through the work of our partners many more children like Anara will be given a fresh start in life.

  • For God’s blessing upon our staff in the Central Asian States, who are showing courage and resilience in the face of challenging conditions.

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