Yasin and Marnie in with TA Bamiyan

In October, Yasin and Marnie had a community meeting with the women of our Trade Afghan cooperative in Bamiyan to discuss the merits of our program and what they need for the future. I loved the conversation that they had with us. The women that we spoke with thanked us for helping them find markets for their handicrafts and told us what they learned about business. They said “We love to work on our handcrafts away from home so we can be together. Coming to PARSA gives us a place not to feel so alone in our work. Could you please provide a kindergarten teacher so our little children can learn while we focus on the work? Also we have weaving skills.  Can we weave here and can you find a market for our weaving?  We will fix our own lunch if we can have a little spot to do so.”  After we talked about the meeting, Yasin and I realized that we have created a self-organizing true cooperative by listening to the women of Bamiyan. And they are finding ways to support their families.  We have 160 women enrolled in the program, and are soon expanding to 250.  We are launching a campaign to meet their requests for 2015.  Our goal is $50,000 for the year.  This will also allow us to expand into remote villages, bringing women to PARSA twice a year to pick up work, meet with others and sell work which will provide over 25 families headed by women with a yearly income.  Oh!! They want a cow, too.  To learn how to sell dairy products.  If you are interested in supporting this enterprising group of Afghan women please contact Yasin at yasin@afghanistan-parsa.org.