Artisan Spotlight: Zardozi Markets, Afghanistan

Rising Team - Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Zardozi Markets started as an income-generating project set up 26 years ago to assist some of the women in the hundreds of thousands of families which poured across the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan when fighting started. Today thousands of poor Afghan women earn a steady income from embroidery and handicraft production thanks to Zardozi. Rising International was referred to Zardozi by our friends at the Khaled Hosseini Foundation, and we have proudly partnered with and supported their program since 2013. All of the women at Zardozi describe having an income of their own as life changing in terms of achieving status as individuals in their families and communities and allowing them some control over their own lives.

Razima’s Story

“Hello. My name is Razima, and I was 15 years old when I migrated to Pakistan in 1988 from Afghanistan to escape the war. I spent some time in the Baghicha refugee camp, and while I was there I married a security guard who worked for a private company. I lovingly mothered 9 children from my marriage, and built a home for us in Peshawar. I had happily settled down in life until one unfortunate day when my husband met an accident that left him paralyzed, unable to work or earn. Being a self respecting and brave woman, I turned to my embroidery skills to cater to the needs of my family and the medical expenses of my husband. I am grateful for the opportunity to use my skills to provide for my family.”

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