We have just completed our second day of training for 70 Afghan women on how to use the Artisan Toolkit. They will soon go back to various provinces in Afghanistan and train other women on what they have learned. Rarely have I seen such enthusiasm - at one point 50 women had their hand up to speak at one time!
Today we covered costing, pricing and how to brand products. Kathleen Holland, who conducts the training, was wearing a very beautiful Afghan-made jacket from Zarif Design. The jacket has a ‘Handmade in Afghanistan’ label on the tag and we emphasized how important it is to say where a product is made and by whom, especially if it is handmade. The pride we saw in the women was indescribable - "is Handmade in Afghanistan by women like us really a selling point?" they asked. And we answered that if the quality and price is right - it is.
When we left the training we felt that we had sparked something more than their interest in business trivia – perhaps we had sparked a new confidence in what they as Afghan women can achieve with the skills they already possess.
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