Aziz knits to educate her three sisters.
Aziz is a 19 year old girl who has never been to school because when she was four the Taliban took power in Kabul Afghanistan. Aziza was nine when she approached a woman to learn how to knit and started working for this woman’s knitting association. It has been ten years since she learned to knit and now she earns money and contributes to her family of seven members. Her father works for a governmental office earning around $150 a month. Aziz never went to school so she could support her three sisters and allow them to attend school and get an education. Her mother is also an uneducated woman. Aziz’s family stayed in Afghanistan, even during the Taliban years, as they were not able to afford to leave the country. Aziz loves to knit various items like sweaters, baby booties, and baby wears. She also teaches her sisters to knit as it is a good skill to learn.
Hajera is a 50 year old woman who never married. She lives with her older brother who has six children. Her brother cannot work any more, and his wife is uneducated and unskilled. So, Hajera is the only one who earns money by knitting and supports her brother's children and family by providing food. Hajera never left the country, even during the Taliban years, as she could not afford to pay for the travel by road. She could study only up to a high school level but the family couldn’t afford to send her to University. “When you are unmarried in Afghanistan then the brother and brother’s wife think you are a burden and you should earn to pay for your living costs” Hajera says.
Aziz, Hajera, and Soraya developed their business enterprise through the Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women, www.ieew.org, headquarted in Oklahoma City, OK. IEEW trains businesswomen in the U.S. and overseas. Our baby booties from Afghanistan were produced through its international arm, called PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS®. PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS is a business training and mentorship program for women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda. This program is implemented through three major components (In-Country Education, Leadership Development, and Train the Trainer) which combine to create a continuing program to educate women, promote their business and leadership skills, build a strong public policy agenda in the women’s business community and to help build stable democracies.
The woman who has provided this opportunity to these poor laborers is Soraya Faizi. Click HERE to see her facebook page.