IDEA-NEW started a six-month long embroidery and literacy training for 200 poor, food-insecure women in Hishar Shahi Camp, which lies on the Jalalabad-Torkham Highway in Rodat District of Nangarhar.
IDEA-NEW is collaborating with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) to support the project, which began in September. IDEA-NEW provides raw materials and equipments while WFP gives each woman 25 Kg wheat, 4 liters of oil and 4 kg of chickpea per month in an effort to improve the food security of the women and their families.
Trainees receive both literacy and embroidery training for four hours every day. Ten trainers work full-time, and are each paid 200 Afghanis daily.
At the conclusion of the training, the trainees will be able to embroider shawls, collars, baskets, mirror-weaved yakhan (yakhan is the embroidered front-piece for traditional shirts and blouses), covers for pens and glass covers decorated with beads. These products were chosen based on their demand in the market.
After finishing their pieces, the women will supply them to the markets through Nangarhar Handicraft Producer Association (NHPA) based in Jalalabad City. The Association has a showroom in Jalalabad where it sells its members’ handicrafts, giving members access to an otherwise unavailable market. Once the products are sold, money is transferred to the women through the Association. The association takes 5% of profits for running costs, and the remaining 95% goes to the women. Those who are the members of association also pay 10 AFN in monthly dues.
An 18-year old named Mahjera, who is a daughter of two disabled parents from Hisar Shahi, expressed her appreciation for the project, “I used to sell my embroideries very cheaply in the camp. Four months ago as a result of this project, I got membership of the Association. Currently, my embroideries are sold for a good price through the Association and I’m able to earn 2,500 AFN per month. Now, I can afford nearly everything for my family and live a better life.”
IDEA-NEW works to provide licit job opportunities for poor women, and enables them to contribute economically to their families in meaningful ways across the North, East and West of Afghanistan.