PRODUCTS / About the Artisans
The women making the lovely bracelets we feature are remarkable in that they are either the sole providers for their families or are contributing in a way that is essential to the families survival.
Farzana has two children and is the sole wage earner as her husband is unable to locate work. They have eleven people living in their house and had little money for food or clothing. Through her work she is able to provide food and clothing for her entire family. She hopes to continue to increase her wages to be able to buy medicine for her asthma.
Haleema is also the sole provider in her home for her husband and five children. Due to her husband’s substance abuse problem she was forced to send her 12 year old son to Kabul in search of work while her other son works in a fruit shop. Still, the wages they earned were not enough and without Haleema’s earnings the family would not have the funds for their rent or food.
Nazanen’s husband is working in an ice cream shop, but the wages are not enough to fully support the family. She has three children. Through her work she is able to provide the basics for her family, but dreams of one day being able to have the funds to send her children to school.
The highly talented artisans making the bookmarks are strong and resilient women who have often faced a series of family tragedies. Their handcrafted goods allow them to support their families.
Nadia lives with her mother, father and nine siblings. The family was forced to flee Afghanistan in 1992 due to war and conflict. In spite of a series of health issues with her mother and father she was able to gain admission into school at age 15 and complete her lower education. However, due to her parents’ ailments as well as her own health issues, it became increasingly difficult for the family to earn the wages necessary for daily living. She has been doing embroidery work for 4 years and through her wages she is able to support her family by providing rent and paying other bills.
Shabana’s father does not have a job and it is very difficult to provide the funds needed for her other four siblings. Through her embroidery work she is able to buy food, clothing and pay utility bills. Despite not being able to continue her education, she is also able to provide funding for her brother to attend school. She hopes to be able to earn enough to afford medicine needed by her mother.
Mutabiqa is 35 years old and lives in Baghicha refugee camp in Mardan, Pakistan. Her father passed away when she was just two years old. She has 7 siblings that she has helped support over the years. While unmarried herself, she has earned enough to be able to pay for the marriage expenses of her siblings and dowries of her sisters. She is the sole support for her mother and uses her wages to pay all bills, medical expenses and food as both Mutabiqa and her mother are ill.
Razia is also 35 years old and is raising her 3 children alone since her husband passed away in 2000. Through her wages she is able to fund her son’s education fees and the family’s daily living expenses. Without her earnings she would not be able to provide the basic necessities for her children.
PRODUCTS / About Zardozi
Zardozi grew from the DACAAR Sewing Circle and became an NGO in 2005. DACAAR, a Danish non-governmental, humanitarian organization, started the project in 1984 as an income generating activity for Afghan women living in camps in Pakistan. They continue the work of the sewing center by connecting highly skilled, rural Afghan women with markets for their unique handcrafted works.
All of Zardozi’s trading income is reinvested to create additional employment opportunities for these women. This network has been in existence for over 25 years and Zardozi employs approximately 91 people in Kabul, Jalalabad and Peshawar manufacturing and selling the handmade items of roughly 1,500 women. Many of these women would not have the opportunity to create income for themselves and their families. This income enables the women to provide food, medicine, educational opportunities and other necessities for their families.
It is because of Zardozi’s commitment to these women that we have chosen to collaborate with them on the manufacture of products, some that will be available exclusively on our site. All our products are hand embroidered and many have delicate mirrors or beads embroidered on them, both consistent with traditional Afghan artistry.
To purchase these unique products, please select a link to the left.
Thank you for helping us to support these amazing women!