Rubia’s mission is to develop economic opportunities through craft heritage, to support education and to promote health and well being for Afghan women and their families.
Rubia, Inc. is a New Hampshire, USA non-profit organization working with Rubia in Afghanistan to serve women in rural Afghanistan, through education, skills training and the promotion of their hand-embroidered textiles.
Embroidery is the heart and soul of traditional Afghan textiles.
Traditionally, embroidery has been women’s handwork, done at home, between domestic chores, to enhance their surroundings. Rubia integrates these traditional elements with the new benefit of earning an income while maintaining fragile elements of their textile heritage: plant dyes, natural fibers, and designs drawn from ancient Afghan tribal patterns.
Sew Don’t Grow
Alternative livelihoods are the key to Afghanistan’s social and economic recovery. Subsistence farmers who had supported their families with poppy cultivation are now seeking other means of economic empowerment. Poppy flowers and other designs embroidered by women in the valley of Darrai Noor provide a legitimate source of income, a new tradition in textiles.
Rubia’s commitment:* Building a sustainable business in a fragile environment * Empowering women while respecting a traditional lifestyle * Reviving and preserving traditional crafts * Using natural plant dyes and alternative energy sources
Rubia’s model:* Working in the Afghan family context with little overhead costs * Supporting community members running their own business * Building skills at all levels through locally run workshops and training * Nurturing creative global partnerships through mentoring and environmental awareness
Rubia makes a difference:* More than 300 women trained in fine embroidery skills * 20 home-based literacy education courses * 2 elementary schools and one high school supplemented with school supplies and teaching aids * Proceeds from handwork sales and donations are used to support all aspects of Rubia’s work.