Sadly, we are not able to show you actual photos of the faces of the Afghan women artisans because the male members of their families forbid it. We are, however, so very happy to tell you their story…
- Afghan women are often beaten and raped and afforded no justice.
- 97% of Afghan women are illiterate.
- Afghan women are forced to live in fear. Even now many wear the burqa for fear of the old regime.
- There are an estimated 1.5 million widows in Afghanistan with an average of 5-8 children each and no source of income.
Eternal Threads has two projects in Afghanistan currently. One group of women creates the King’s Garden beaded bracelet and another group weaves wool carpets.
The women artisans who make the King’s Garden Bracelet describe their work in this way… “We all are very happy with this job. It helps us to forget our family problems for the hours that we are working together, laughing and talking. When we are together we talk and learn what is going on in the world. Being together makes us brave and gives us courage to fight for our rights. When we see that our children are happy, that we have money to put them in school and buy clothes for them, it makes us happy. Thanks be to God for giving us this job. Thanks to the people who try to provide work for us.”
The carpet weaving project is being developed in a desolate village in western Afghanistan. The villagers have experienced extended periods of drought and many of them have lost their tents and herds. Their circumstances are so desperate that the United Nations approached our partner two years ago asking if he would help give the villagers relief. Since that time, we have purchased five looms, trained the women to dye their own wool, and through a generous donation have provided the women with sheep. Caring for their own herd allows the women to avoid the higher market prices for wool.
We need donations to help the women until their carpet business is bringing in the sustainable income they need. One-time donations for sheep, looms or monthly sponsorship for a woman and her family are equally welcome.
This carpet-weaving project is making a critical difference in the lives of the villagers. Many of the girls cannot go to school because their families lack the funds and we have just learned that girls as young as 3-6 years old are being sold to husbands.
Many of the women told our partners that they have never received gifts in their lives, not even from their husbands. But now are receiving help and relief through Eternal Threads.