Artisan Links, a registered non-governmental organisation and a member of World Fair Trade Organisation, started as an income generating project set up 29 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 hundreds of poor Afghan women earn a steady income from embroidery and handicraft production thanks to Artisan Links.
The money which the women get from producing and selling embroidery and handicraft empowers them in many diverse ways. Many of the women use their income to support their children’s education, in particular taking their children away from carpet work and sending them to school. Other women spend money on pregnancy check ups - often for the first time in their lives despite multiple pregnancies. All of the women 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. Artisan Links support to women producers of handicrafts and clothing occurs in several ways.
Women produce directly for Artisan Links. They are almost 100% illiterate and most have never visited a clinic or a doctor in their lives. These women also lead lives of chronic poverty and isolation before finding this source of income.
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