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'Arzu Studio Hope' Offers Employment to Women in Afghanistan

By: Bianca Bartz - Published: • References: arzustudiohope.org
When you land on the Arzu Studio Hope website, your first impression might be that you're looking at the website of a fine rug retailer, but you might also notice they've woven mission into their business.

Founded by Connie Duckworth after an inspirational trip to Kabul in 2003, Arzu (which means "hope" in Dari) is part of her mission to employ female weavers in Afghanistan so they can lift their families out of poverty and gain access to healthcare and education.

"ARZU STUDIO HOPE believes in a holistic approach to sustainable poverty alleviation achieved through artisan-based employment that empowers women," the site say. "Women, earning fair labor wages, weave exquisite hand-knotted rugs at home. Innovative social benefit practices drive transformational change by providing grassroots access to vital education, healthcare, clean water and sustainable community development programs."

The rugs are handwoven with sheep’s wool and coloured with natural dyes from sources like walnut husks and pomegranates. Their collections include modern and contemporary styles, tribal heirloom rugs, traditional rugs, and a designer collection by famous architect Zaha Hadid and interior designer Thomas Schoos.

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