Product Spotlight: The Nadera Doll

Rising Team - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Handmade dolls are traditionally made by Afghan mothers for their daughters. Rising International's Nadera Doll Project empowers widows in Afghanistan by offering them the ability to earn an income by selling their handmade dolls in the United States.  In 2003 Rising International launched the Nadera Doll project (originally called the Afghan Widows Doll Project) with the assistance of Jamila Hashimi, an Afghan literacy teacher and her daughter, who is now a Rising International Board Member. During the time of the Taliban, Jamila ran a secret school for girls and women; years later, the Nadera Doll Project was started with Jamila’s original students.

Over 60 widows have participated in the project, and in the 12-month period from September 2012 to August 2013 our widows earned an average supplemental income of $612.00 each. The highest earner made $1133.00, with an average annual income in Afghanistan being $250.00.

In 2007 one of our doll makers, Nadera, was tragically killed by a suicide bomb that was placed in a vegetable cart at the local marketplace. The Afghan Widows Doll Project was re-named the Nadera Doll in her honor.

Where does the money go? The retail price for each doll is $34.00. The dollmaker earns $11.00 (32% of retail), the project manager in Afghanistan earns $1.00 per doll (3%), the shipping cost is $2.66 (7%), a local Rising Representative earns $6.80 (20%) and Rising raises $12.54 (36%) to reinvest in purchasing more dolls. This means that the dollmaker (a woman in Afghanistan) and the Rising Representative (an entrepreneur in the U.S.) earn 52% of the retail price!

For every doll sold an Afghan widow can purchase 6 meals. For two dolls sold she can send a child to school for a month.  

Photo credit: Jean Bathke/Rising International

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