Free from charge health services for Jalalabad clients

On Sunday, September 7, 2019, Zardozi’s Jalalabad regional office’s manager, Mr. Samiullah Ashna and Kadars visited Rokhan Hospital’s president Mr. Safiudin for future cooperation and special medical services for the women who are holds Zardozi’s cards.

The meeting was held as a result of Jalalabad’s clients’ request, since they come from poor communities and is unable to pay for better medical care. Lack of financial aid and gender discrimination at homes have made women more vulnerable and left out in their families. This has made women susceptible to high rate of maternal deaths and dangerous infectious diseases.

During their visit, Kadars and Mr. Ashna spoke about the support the organization has provided for women in the east region for the past several years. The Kadars emphasized on the importance of their work in saving women from an unfortunate fate, and signified the importance of their meeting with the hospital. As a result, the Hospital head agreed to sign a MoU with Zardozi which states that Rokhan Hospital will allow women:

  • 30% discount per all hospital examinations
  • And provide free bedrooms, child vaccine and normal births

Our Services

Nisfe Jahan

Once the initial Zardozi capacity building training package is completed, women go on to access a variety of business support services through a grass-roots, membership

Market Development


The majority of employment in Afghanistan takes place in the informal sector where, although there are sub sectors where women’s involvement in production

Microfinance

The Zardozi loan service grew organically from small beginnings when women started asking for loans in 2011. The loan fund is managed jointly by Nisfe Jahan

Community Business Centres

The majority of employment in Afghanistan takes place in the informal sector where, although there are sub sectors where women’s involvement in production and to some extent, sale of products is traditional, there are also significant barriers to women’s engagement in the economy.

Urban Poverty and Solutions

Zardozi works with poor women in the urban and semi urban areas of 4 cities in Afghanistan – Kabul, Jalalabad, Mazar e Sharif and Herat. About 40% of families joining Zardozi are earning well below $1 per day – eating once a day and then only bread and tea.

Women’s Empowerment

Women in Afghanistan are in general, regarded as secondary to men and as a result of this cultural bias which permeates all aspects of family life, they tend to fully internalise the belief that they are less intelligent

Recent News

Nadera Runs Her Restaurant Behind Closed Curtains

Thirty seven-years-old Nadera comes from Shiwaki village of Kabul. She has 9 children and is also financially supporting 9 more children from her husband’s first wife. Nadera’s husband married her when his first wife became mentally ill and couldn’t look after their family. Nadera’s husband, who was the only bread-winner at the family, faced many

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admin November 14 ,2019

Zardozi’s Client Fought Against Child Marriage

Zardozi’s client Eqlima teaches tailoring in one of our Community Business Centers (Manbeh) in Herat. Eqlima saved her 14-year-old student Wazhma from marrying a man three times her age. Wazhma, unfortunately, was forced to pay for her brother’s crime until her instructor interfered and the unfair agreement between the two families was broken. Eqlima narrates

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admin November 14 ,2019

Roqia Finds Market for Her Spaghetti Production

They are uneducated but not uncreative. Give an Afghan woman the right support and tools and see what she is capable of. She will give it her all, once she is awakened, and once she has realized her potential and power to transform her life. With all the women that Zardozi works with, in four

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admin November 14 ,2019

Our House-Producers Adding Spice to Fashion World

They may know Afghans by the name of good fighters but looking deep into the country’s culture and heritage, beauty, and uniqueness define who we really are through the way we dress. Afghan handmade embroidery and designs are creating a place in people’s hearts across the globe. In the midst of wars and the only

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admin November 14 ,2019

Married at the age of 13, Samia raises her four children alone

Afghan women are hunted by child and forced marriages. Twenty-three years old Samia was also not able to escape this cruel destiny which put her in despair and agony. Like many parents who sold their daughters for money, Samia’s father too gave her in marriage to a shopkeeper who had lent a lot of money

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admin September 12 ,2019

Giving women their long lost identity

Zardozi works with women who come from rural, poor and uneducated families. They are unfamiliar with the world outside the windows of their mud houses. Wrong traditions and family restrictions have confined and cut their wings to thrive in their lives. They are unable to say no to all kinds of verbal and physical violence.

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admin September 12 ,2019

How Strategic Workshops are Helping Women to Move Forward

On July 7 -11, 2019, Zardozi conducted a five day Strategic Workshop endeavored to take necessary actions for the effective implementation of Zardozi program. The Strategic Workshops are conducted every year where Zardozi’s Regional Managers, Kadars, Executive Committee Members and other representatives of women are invited from the regional offices and gathered on one table

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admin August 28 ,2019

Empowering Women through Saffron Cultivation

Women everywhere are great contributors to peace. Today, they play an active role in fighting off the on-going war by cultivating saffron instead of poppy – a crop which has partially fueled the war in Afghanistan. Saffron also well-known for Afghan red gold, has earned an exceptional place and name in the international market. One

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admin August 28 ,2019

How to Become a Good Businesswoman?

Many women who aspire to become businesswomen do not have sufficient information about how will they achieve that goal. They want to open their own businesses and become good businesswomen but without enough knowledge and courage to take the right steps that will walk them up the ladder, is hard. While most of these women

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admin August 28 ,2019

Nisfe-Jahan’s New Chairwoman

We congratulate and warmly welcome Nisfe-Jahan- Zardozi’s grassroots women organization newly elected Chairwoman, Ms. Hafsa Hashimi and her deputy Ms. Farida Soorabi. Ms. Hashimi came through free elections during the strategic Workshop where Kadars and Executive Committee Members cast their vote to the nominated candidates. Hafsa Hashimi was born in a destitute family where she

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admin July 29 ,2019

Sustaining Nisfe-Jahan

Sustainability is a key part of all Zardozi strategies. The Nisfe-Jahan (Half the World) grassroots women’s organization has been one of Zardozi’s utmost accomplishments to this end. Established in 2010, Nisfe-Jahan has been nurtured into an organization that is independently run by a group of very committed local women who play vital leadership roles to

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admin July 29 ,2019

Shewaki Women Found Access to Education Again

On 27th of June, 2019, Kadar (volunteer members) with support from Nisfe Jahan and Zardozi inaugurated the first literacy course in Shewaki district of Kabul. Living in the most conservative part of the city, Shewaki women desired to return back to school and sit in a classroom with their pens and books opened once again.

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admin July 04 ,2019

Zardozi participated in the Peace Loya Jirga

Today more than ever, Afghan women’s role in society and peace has been essential and evident. With the initiation of the Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, almost 3,000 delegates from across the country, including women who made almost 30% of the Jirga, came together as one to freely express their opinions. Zardozi representatives: Hasina Aimaq, program

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admin June 16 ,2019

Farida Creates More Jobs for Women

From a simple house-wife to leading more than 20 women today, Farida Soorabi is playing a great role as a good mother, a successful entrepreneur and an inspirational leader at her newly expanded tailoring workshop. A few months ago when we wrote about Farida’s story, she told us that she was planning on expanding of

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admin June 16 ,2019

Zardozi visits its sisters in Indonesia

In order to effectively serve Afghan women as well as achieve excellence in its programs, Zardozi made a third trip to Indonesia to revisit its sisters from PEKKA, a women’s empowerment organization in Indonesia. The trip was mainly arranged for learning purposes between Zardozi Kadars (Volunteer Members) and PEKKA. In 2016, representatives of PEKKA came

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admin June 16 ,2019

From a Door-less House to Eqlima’s Own Little House

Once lived a comfortable and luxurious life, Eqlima’s struggles and hardships start from windowless rooms and a door-less house. This is the story of a mother of 2 children whose husband fell sick from major injuries resulting into damaging his nervous system. Eqlima’s husband was the only provider for the family which did not last

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admin May 26 ,2019

Nadira is Not Giving Up

Somewhere in a small village of Mazar-e-Sharif, a big sign board outside a not very big shop covered with glamorous pictures of women having had their hair, makeup and nails nicely done, beats much of the negative stereotypes held against beauty parlours like Ms. Nadira. Nadira is one of Zardozi’s oldest clients. She started receiving

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admin May 26 ,2019

Finding Market for Wool Spinners

Recently, a high demand for wool spinning has been realized in the domestic markets. Zardozi surveys have found out that many women have shown interest in the wool spinning sector in Qala-i-Fatu of Kabul. Ms. Masouma who has been tailoring for several months says “wool spinning is more fun plus it is always good to

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admin May 12 ,2019

Afghan Women Online Exhibition

From the beginnings of Zardozi, physical exhibitions have been one of the effective ways in holding women’s micro businesses strong. These exhibitions have provided women with the opportunity to achieve their marketing objectives to find good suppliers and customers. Now Zardozi has taken a newer step in developing women’s businesses as our clients’ businesses will

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admin May 12 ,2019

Hear from Zardozi Program Director

Zardozi’s most inspiring and young employee is 28 years old Hasina Aimaq Mohsen who comes with a strong background of dedicating her life to help women have their own voice and respect in family and community. Ms. Hasina joined Zardozi seven years ago. Today she serves as the Program Director of the organization. With six

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admin May 12 ,2019

Farida Sorabi – an inspiration for her village’s women

With a hundreds of women benefiting from Zardozi’s programs, a woman like Farida Sorabi not only uplifts herself but also opens her arms for more women to earn a kind of respect which they never had experienced before. Six years ago, Farida’s husband saw a back injury in a car accident and stopped working. Since

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admin April 01 ,2019

Zardozi Brings More Women on Board

It is with great pleasure to announce the addition of a highly qualified and capacitated woman to Zardozi family. We extend our warm welcome to Ms. Rahima Paiman, who recently filled in the position of Regional Manager in Kabul. We are happy to have our third female regional manager who will be a great asset

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admin April 01 ,2019

NIC’s for women

National ID card (NIC) is an indicator of an individual’s belonging to a country to prevent forgery, ensure electoral transparency and ease public access to various services such as education, medical care, and employment. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan, majority of the women are still denied this basic human right. According to Institute for War and Peace

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admin February 26 ,2019

Nafisa Embroidery Machine

“Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success”, believes 35 years old Nafisa- a mother of three daughters and three sons. Nafisa comes from Behsod district of Nangarhar province where she lives with her big family of ten people. Her husband is the only breadwinner, doing a small labor job which earns him 5000

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admin February 26 ,2019

Our Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

On December 11, 2018, Zardozi’s Executive Director, Ms. Homa Usmany represented Zardozi on the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) campaign organized by War Child Canada. Different national and international organizations such as World Bank, Relief International, GAC, and MoWA were invited to discuss about women rights, economic and social empowerment. During the

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admin February 07 ,2019

Know Mahtab

Mahtab comes from Shalbafan of Heart where she lived with her husband and two daughters. However, her drug addicted husband led Mahtab to separate from him, because living with him had caused her a major economic drawback. Mahtab’s husband would even sell most of home appliances to buy opium. Once Mahtab decided to divorce him,

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admin February 05 ,2019

Zardozi Volunteer Members helped Ali Chopan people to have asphalted roads

This winter, the Kadars, our volunteer members, have given us another opportunity to appreciate their work. They have once again helped their community to solve problems which otherwise would have been difficult without an influential person’s support and a collective effort of the village women. Recently, in a far-fetched district of Mazara-e-Sharif, a group of

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admin January 29 ,2019

Hameeda’s husband quit drugs because of her

Ms. Hameeda, a mother of 5 children, struggled through the hardships of helping her drug addict husband to recover, and to support her kids to live a better life. Hameeda’s life upended when she got married. Her husband would spend all of the home savings on buying drugs. She didn’t have enough money to afford

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admin January 29 ,2019

Donate to end domestic violence via business opportunities

We’re delighted to inform you that Zardozi has been given an exciting new opportunity! On November 16, 2018, we submitted our project to the Global Giving Foundation who selected us to participate in its Accelerator – a fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations around the world. In order to succeed, we must raise $5,000 from 40 donors by December 31st, 2018 which

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admin December 09 ,2018

Nooria’s first market experience beat her fears

“Zardozi took us out of darkness into light,” says 38 years old Zardozi client, standing in her booth at the exhibition as she repeatedly pass balls of dough through the Pasta machine thickening each dough to 2 mm and cutting it into 3 cm squares to make Ashak (an Afghan dish prepared on special occasions)

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admin November 26 ,2018

How a water filter machine empowered Maryam

Exposed to relentless risk of terrorism, Afghans have to confront a second perilous problem – the acute shortage of clean water in the cities and villages. According to National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA), 70% of the underground water in Kabul is contaminated with bacteria and harmful chemicals which have put many lives at risk. Majority

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admin November 26 ,2018

Zardozi staff bringing home success

Our employees are the building blocks of our organization with the help of whom we are able to stand firm and committed to our goals and objectives to change and prosper the lives of poor Afghan women. Today, we are celebrating the achievement of another remarkable member of Zardozi family, 21 years old Balqis Ehsan.

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admin October 24 ,2018

Zardozi Participated in Passage to Prosperity 2018

Zardozi presented eight of its best clients and their products in Passage to Prosperity: India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show in Mumbai, held on September 12-15, 2018. Supported by US, Passage to Prosperity was initiated as a platform to boost economic ties between Afghanistan and India by connecting Indian investors and contractors with Afghan sellers and

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admin October 24 ,2018

Ms. Nargis – the wedding photographer

Zardozi’s successful client in Kabul is a talented and multi-skilled 22-years-old Nargis who is the only girl child at her home. Unlike the old parents, Nargis’s parents have always felt fortunate to have a daughter. Therefore, they have raised Nargis with much love and allowed her to complete her education and pursue a career of

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admin October 24 ,2018

“She” should lead

For years Zardozi- Markets for Afghan Artisans negate people’s general concept about women’s inabilities and demystify women’s potential in important fields such as business and leadership. In looking into the future, Zardozi wants to create a place that is run by women for women, because opportunities for women often come from other women as they

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admin September 18 ,2018

Zardozi’s first female regional manager

We are pleased to announce that Zardozi- Markets for Afghan Artisans welcomes its first female regional manager in Zardozi’s leadership. Ms. Aziza Karimi who has recently been hired as the regional manager in Herat province comes with great qualifications, experience and new ideas for the promotion and development of less privileged afghan women. On Wednesday,

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admin September 05 ,2018

Shakila overcame her depression at Zardozi

Bibi Shakila is one of the Afghan mothers who lost her 22 years old son to the war. After her son’s death, Bibi Shakila’s oldest son decided to join the Afghan army forces and fight the enemies who took away people like his brother. Dreaded by the death of her second son, Bibi Shakila could

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admin August 26 ,2018

Behind every successful woman is herself

The evolution of ‘celebrating successful women’ started in 2013 when Zardozi’s former director Kerry Jane Wilson realized the need to assess and appreciate the success which women have sought throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Successful women celebration is a way for Zardozi to boost confidence in women, create role models for others while also seek the

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admin August 26 ,2018

Frozan’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Led Her to Live a Better Life

Ms. Frozan comes from a small district of Mazara Sharif, Hajat Rawa. She has three children, and the eldest of all is 12 years old. Like many beneficiaries, Frozan took the opportunity and extracted the utmost advantage from Zardozi’s programs to earn as much she could in order to provide her children a standard education

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admin July 25 ,2018

Yes, Women Can Be Leaders, too!

“Some examples of great leaders are Ashraf Ghani, Karzai, our fathers, and our husbands,” answered a group of women when the leadership trainer asked them about who they recognize as leaders. But none of the examples of great leaders were women. Even when women play central roles in their families and societies, they are still

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admin July 25 ,2018

Goldozi Meets Zardozi

On Sunday, July 15, 2018, Zardozi facilitated a consultation meeting for Goldozi where Executive Director, Ms. Homa Usmany, Program Director, Ms. Hasina Aimaq and Kadars (Volunteer Members) met with Goldozi Directors Ms. Susan and her executive team at Zardozi main office. Goldozi is a similar program as Zardozi, therefore, to support the program objectives Zardozi

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admin July 16 ,2018

Kadars initiative to open literacy courses

Zardozi works closely with Afghan women to enable them play significant roles in the economy and leadership of Afghanistan as well as engage them in civic activities to build their communities shoulder by shoulder with men. Today we have the Zardozi Kadars as the empowered women who play vital leadership roles in their societies and

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admin June 25 ,2018

No more tent schools

Forty-one percent of schools in Afghanistan does not have buildings and for most children it means studying under tents, other unprotected structures or in ‘open-air’.  Similarly in a far district of Heart named ‘Say Polak’, children attend classes in tents or mosques which do not have enough space for all the children of the district

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admin June 25 ,2018

Increasing new sectors: The dry fruits business

Zardozi is bolstering women’s inclusion in Afghanistan’s economy. It is working to ensure that progress made by Afghan women over the past several years advances by helping women work in different formal and informal business sectors. In Mazar-e-Sharif, a group of women from Zardozi are making an important contribution to the dry fruits economy of

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admin June 25 ,2018

Kadars participated in the 5th Afghan Women International Symposium

The Afghan Women international symposium under the title of “Women as responsible citizens,” with the slogan of “Responsible Citizen, Dependable Government, and Thriving society” was held on 7-9th May. Among the guests were President Ashraf Ghani, First Lady Rula Ghani, State authorities along with 350 women from Kabul and provinces and international community members in

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admin May 28 ,2018

Meet the first group start up

Ommulbanin, Zarguna, Bibi Mah, Fatima and Masuma are the first five women who were suggested to start a business as a group. This idea of group start-ups was discussed in the Annual Strategic Workshop at Zardozi’s main office. The organization observed that some women were unable to smoothly run their businesses, due to many home

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admin May 28 ,2018

Nisfe Jahan’s volunteer members’ engagement in civic activities

As the international community aid decreases in Afghanistan, the establishment of the Nisfe Jahan Association becomes a leading example of self-sustainability and self-reliance for other local organizations operating across Afghanistan. This institution manages and receives income through member association payments and service fees that help represent the presence of female entrepreneurs and small businesses. This

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admin May 28 ,2018

Zardozi support group consultancy

One balmy morning, a breeze drifts in from the windows of a small house on the hill top where several women have gathered together, sitting in a circle with their eyes closed, meditating and repeating the mantras over and over: “May my heart be kind, my mind fierce and my spirit brave. Create a life

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admin April 23 ,2018

Frozan incorporating several things in one shop

Out in an unconstructed part of Qala-e-Zaman Khan, Kabul, 22 year old Frozan’s shop is a noticeable place. Its walls spray painted with graffiti with handmade bags hanging from strings. She joined Zardozi in 2015 and today we are acknowledging her achievements and success since she first began. Frozan comes with an advantage of being

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admin April 23 ,2018

Aziza – Nisfe Jahan’s Chairperson

Aziza from Mazar Sharif is the current chairperson of Nisfe Jahan. Getting this position was a dream job for her when she first joined Zardozi. Aziza is a professional tailor and wise business woman who knows how to manage to be both Nisfe Jahan’s chairperson and run her own business at same time. Aziza’s progress

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admin March 20 ,2018

Zardozi Celebrates Women’s Day

“Stand up, stand out, stand together!” From the early 1900’s until now, the international women’s movement has gained momentum. Thousands of women in unison, including the recent watershed movements of “Me Too” and “Man Etiraz Darum (I Object)” in Afghanistan, these women stood together to fight against the unjust and social constructed norms. They have

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admin March 20 ,2018

Best employee award

Zardozi pays great tribute toward its hard-working employees without whom the organization would not be able to extend its services to poor Afghan women in the farthest villages across the country. On 10 January 2017, Zardozi celebrated and recognized Mr. Nariman Yousufi’s services and commitment to Zardozi as an Admin Accountant in Zardozi’s Mazar Regional

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admin February 25 ,2018

Zahra’s mission to change her fate

Like many poor families 27-year-old Zahra belonged to a family where her dream of seeking an education was shattered due to the bad economic situation. Zahra was involved in child labor when she was 9 years old. When asked about her childhood, Zahra had to travel back into her memories again and tell us about

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admin February 25 ,2018

ECM- Strategic Workshop

Every year Zardozi’s Kabul Main office holds a Strategic Workshop that includes Zardozi Regional Managers, Kadars and Executive Committee Members (ECMs) from the regions to gather on one platform to work on new plans for the betterment and development of their programs for Afghan women. The participants go through the process of identifying the organization’s

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admin February 25 ,2018

Gender Training- Removing Barriers

On 25 January some of Zardozi’s staff members and vocational trainers gathered at a table to plan its next program, not free of troubles. Everyone was struck by the one question: how to bring both men and women into one room to be trained on gender issues.  Such a gathering had never been organized before

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admin February 25 ,2018

Zardozi Kabul Main Office Strategic Workshop

Every year Zardozi’s Kabul Main office holds Strategic Workshops at the beginning of the year in order to bring together overall Zardozi Executive Committee Members (ECMs), Kadars, and regional managers to work on new plans for the betterment and development of their programs for Afghan women. The participants go through the process of identifying the

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admin January 24 ,2018

Fawzia’s disastrous marriage life

“When I woke up with swollen eyes from the previous night’s crying, I realized he did not deserve a second chance after all the times he had beaten me and had burnt my house that almost killed me and my children,” Fawzia told us about her drug-addicted husband in an emotional voice. Fawzia, living in

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admin January 24 ,2018

Sadat- only woman shopkeeper in her district

“Why does one person have to bear all the financial burden and responsibility of 5 other people in family? I believe in coordination and teamwork when it comes to the economy of the family. I am as much accountable as much as my husband is.” insisted Sadat, a 25 year old mother from Herat who

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admin January 24 ,2018

Bushra- Kitchen spices mini-factory

The economic empowerment of urban and rural women is a sign of progress for a country, which is why it is of great importance for Zardozi to introduce women to different business ideas. These women will later contribute to the economy of the country. Stung by poverty, women in rural areas are more vulnerable to

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admin January 24 ,2018

Meena: A profile

34-year-old Meena, from Kabul province is one of the very first clients of Zardozi who joined the organization when it was newly established. Meena story begins as she was given in marriage to an old man when she was only 15 years old. Meena with her 7 children lives with her in laws who treat

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admin January 24 ,2018

Rabia’s Laundry Shop Business

Rabia from Mazar-e-Sharif is a war widow. Being a single parent, Rabia takes care of her 15 years old daughter and 8 years old son alone. After her husband’s death, she realized how helpless she had become, because her husband was the only breadwinner in the family but now that he was gone, Rabia had

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admin January 24 ,2018

Educated Mothers are Healthy & Wealthy

Zardozi training department evaluates every month to find out what does its clients need beside trainings related to business. We have realized that many of our clients’ struggle with even the basic level of self-respect and self-worth. They are unaware of their rights and how well they deserve to be treated. Therefore, to help women

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admin January 24 ,2018

Breshna a successful housewife and mother

In countries like Afghanistan, women are supposed to stay at home; to take care of her children; and to run by the strict rules of their families which suppress their freedom. However, 18 years old Breshna, after being empowered by Zardozi, took a very different look at her life. Breshna was born in a big

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admin January 24 ,2018

Shakila’s Beauty Salon Dream Came True

As a child, Shakila, age 20, always wanted her own hair and makeup salon, dreaming to be her own boss. Shakila’s dreams were shattered by her father and the conservative norms of society, going against Islamic culture. Her father left the country in search of employment. She saw this as an opportunity to secretly learn

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admin November 16 ,2017

Kabul Exhibition

Zardozi held its most successful exhibition in Shahrak-e-Aria Kabul, in collaboration with its partner, Women for Women International. The exhibition took place in a secure and safe environment where clients sold and promoted their products. It was incredible to see clients’ brothers and husbands, standing beside their women and helping them to sell their goods

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admin November 16 ,2017

Better food, better mood with Halima’s Restaurant

Somewhere in the outskirts of Herat city, Halima’s restaurant offers affordability and peace of mind for families and friends who enjoy dining together.  The thought of opening a restaurant, particularly for women, came to Halima when she and her female friends were harassed by men in a restaurant in her neighborhood. Halima realized that her

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admin November 16 ,2017

Zari’s Chickens Bringing Home Money

Zari’s Chickens Bringing Home Money

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admin September 17 ,2017

Zardozi’s First Afghan Executive Director’s Vision

I am pleased to be selected as the Executive Director for Zardozi – Markets for Afghan Artisans. Zardozi has been working for the last two decades for Afghan women’s economic empowerment. Zardozi is an organization that does the actual work with Afghan women to improve their socioeconomic life.  Thousands of women in Afghanistan have benefitted from

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admin September 17 ,2017

Nisfe Jahan’s Exhibitions – Promoting Women Businesses

Exhibitions provide a tremendous cooperative marketing platform. Zardozi and its clients have realized exhibitions’ power where the clients can learn marketing skills on how to connect to and attract more customers; expand their businesses; market and present their products; generate more income; create large networks by meeting new potential buyers and to expose women to

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admin September 17 ,2017

The Seven Women Farmers with Entrepreneurial Brains

The Seven Women Farmers with Entrepreneurial Brains

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admin September 17 ,2017

Women for Women International

Women for Women International Grant for Zardozi Markets for Afghan Artisans is grateful for the contribution done by Women for Women International, a non-profit organization who made a great amount of contribution to enhance Afghan women capacities and skills. The grant which was signed from November 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017, has massively helped

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admin September 05 ,2017

Zardozi’s meeting with the First Lady of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

22 August, 2017 Ms. Rula Ghani, the First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Bi Bi Gul) met Zardozi’s staff members and Kadar at her office. Ms. Homa Usmany, executive director of Zardozi briefed the first lady about the organization’s social and economic services, objectives and activities to empower Afghan women. Ms. Rula Ghani

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admin August 30 ,2017

Canadian funding for Zardozi

Zardozi is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a four-year grant from the Canadian Government through Global Affairs Canada. The funding, which runs from March 2017 to March 2021, will make a substantial contribution towards the costs of Zardozi’s new programme, Economic and Social Empowerment for Afghan Women (ESEAW). Under ESEAW, Zardozi will

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admin May 14 ,2017

Zardozi explores new regions with latest programme in Kapisa

Late last year, in November 2016, Zardozi started its programme in a new province, Kapisa, in addition to its existing regions of operation in Afghanistan. Initiated in associating with Women for Women International (WFWI), the programme has helped bring Zardozi’s expertise in women’s financial empowerment to nearly 65 clients currently under WWI in Kapisa. Apart

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admin May 14 ,2017

How a simple sewing machine empowered Seema Gul

For 45-year-old Seema Gul, from Nangarhar province, life was one big gruelling journey. As the sole support of her family of 10, she was constantly looking for work and barely made a living with meagre earnings.  “I was really tired with my life; and was unable to find a single job opportunity that could help

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admin May 14 ,2017

Introducing Zardozi’s New Executive Director – Homa Usmany

Zardozi is pleased to welcome Homa Usmany as our new Executive Director. Usmany brings with her tremendous experience of working with governmental and international projects and organisations in Afghanistan. Usmany holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Public Administration from the prestigious American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). Apart from this, she also has a PMP

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admin May 14 ,2017

Nisfe Jahan Store – a new retail shop by Zardozi women in Mazar-e-Sharif

Located in the heart of busy and bustling market, in the ancient city of Mazar-i-Sharif, is little shop called Nisfe Jahan, which in Dari, literally means ‘half of the world’. Their name is a token of positive symbolism towards the women, whose needs the shop caters to, as well as its bold female proprietors who’ve

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admin May 14 ,2017

Aziza takes her fashion business further with bead-working

For eighteen-year-old Aziza, dressing up was always a matter of joy. However, as a daughter of a school teacher, in a family of twelve, financial resources were always limited. But even in adversity she fashioned herself the best she could, sometimes stitching her own clothes the way she wanted. “Even as a child, I dreamed

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admin January 15 ,2017

How the Nisfe Jahan business meetings are strengthening

With the help of Zardozi, and a strong entrepreneurial drive, 38-year-old Najma was able to set up her own garments shop in Kabul a few months ago. She employs 15 women as homeworkers and has already developed a dedicated clientele. However, she isn’t very satisfied with the rate of success, and a little concerned about

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admin January 15 ,2017

Beyond Entrepreneurship: Creating Opportunities for Afghan Women

By Dr Kerry Jane Wilson In Afghanistan today there is a significant emphasis on women’s economic empowerment (WEE) with a plethora of projects aiming to integrate women into markets. With some notable exceptions such as the PROMOTE project, many WEE projects seem to lack clarity regarding the target recipients. On the one hand, there is

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admin January 15 ,2017

Letter to the readers – The year that was, and things to look forward to

The year 2016 has truly been an eventful year for Zardozi, both in programme and personal terms. As the year closes, however, Zardozi appears to be on course for a challenging and dynamic future. A major shock for all Zardozi staff and supporters was the kidnapping of Dr Kerry Jane Wilson from Jalalabad in April.

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admin January 15 ,2017

Help Afghan Women Artisans participate in the International Trade Fair in New York City

Zardozi has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to help us send two of our extremely talented and hand-working women artisan to participate in an international trade exhibition in New York City.

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admin June 19 ,2016

Najma takes her little beauty shop to the big city

Armed with better knowledge, and her dreams, Najma took a risk and moved her small beauty parlour into the big city.

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admin April 21 ,2016

Undeterred, Alema builds a future full of possibilities

Being single, never deterred her resolve to be independent. Setting up her dream shop has filled her future with possibilities

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admin April 21 ,2016

With a little inspiration and training, Sidiqa turned her and family’s life around

“Zardozi opened my eyes and my mind to new possibilities”

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admin April 21 ,2016

Shafiqa wants her business to be an inspiration and create jobs

“I have more customer’s today because I’ve earned their trust by creating quality products”

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admin April 21 ,2016

Friends of Zardozi: Indonesian women’s organisation, PEKKA, comes to Kabul for knowledge exchange

As part of a cultural exchange and collaboration initiative, Zardozi invited representatives of the Indonesia-based household empowerment programme called PEKKA—an initiative similar to Zardozi in many ways. This trip was a follow up to Zardozi’s visit to Indonesia in May, 2015, and an opportunity for both organizations to learn from one another. Having been around

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admin April 05 ,2016

Cab service for women, by women: Zardozi aspires to put women behind the wheels

Zahra takes a cab to work every day—a designated driver picks her up at star 7.40 am, and drops her at her office at 7.55 am, albeit Kabul traffic. He later picks her at the end of her work day at 4pm and drops her back home. If Zahra needs to meet her friends over

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admin April 05 ,2016

ZardoziWomen: Being a Zardozi Kadar empowers me, even as I empower others

I am Durdana from Ghazni and I’m among one of the first batch of Kadar (volunteers) nominated by Zardozi. My journey with Zardozi began nearly a decade ago. Before I became a part of the organisation, I operated a small women’s bakery in my house in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi area. I also supplemented my income by

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admin April 05 ,2016

How Shafiqa’s little shop is bringing happiness to her community

Zardozi loaned her 20000 Afs which she used as initial capital to open a small general store in her garden

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admin February 24 ,2016

From being a small-time tailor, Rizagul now employs 26 women

With loans from Zardozi, Rizagul was able to establish her own tailoring workshop, multiplying her family income as well as creating jobs for women in her community.

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admin February 24 ,2016

From friends to business partner—Salima and Fawzia’s chicken shop supports their families

Salima and Fawzia met at Zardozi’s Sajadia Manbeh in Balkh province. They bonded with each other instantly and within no time they were best of friends. Both are married happily and live financially relatively comfortable lives. Salima, 38, and her husband who recently graduated medical school, have four children. Her husband earns 20,000 Afs in

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admin February 24 ,2016

By taking matters into her hands, Rohina pulled her family out of poverty

The trainings not only helped Rohina improve her skills, but also empowered her with a new-found confidence.

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admin February 24 ,2016

How a beauty salon in Herat’s Ghalwan village turned into a haven for local women

The beauty salon not only allowed Jamila to attain financial independence, but it soon became a place of social meetings for local women

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admin February 24 ,2016

Meena’s eye for local fashion trends has helped her tailoring business foster

She noticed there was a demand for Peran Tumban (Afghan men’s outfit) among her villagers. She jumped at the business opportunity this popular fashion could provide.

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admin February 24 ,2016

Financial independence helped Marzia achieve her dreams

Marzia was never the one who could be content with staying at home, doing housework and raising children. Not that she didn’t love to shower all her attention on her six-year old son; but she also wanted to do more. Marzia dreamed of being able to support her husband and of being able to pay

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admin January 03 ,2016

Mazar Clients Expanding into Garment Workshops

The organic growth of garment-making experience and market knowledge among Zardozi’s clients over the years has led many of them to be able to meet both the demand for more volume and to be able to compete with the quality of imported garments. Zardozi trainers have found very often that what is holding clients back

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admin December 16 ,2015

Revamped Training Boosts Biz Confidence

From Zardozi’s beginnings, one of its mainstays in building women’s micro businesses has been the high level of training offered. Now Zardozi has raised the bar with the recent addition of video-based training developed by the DFID-funded Afghan business support initiative Harakat with some help from Zardozi’s training modules. The videos enact scenarios telling the

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admin December 16 ,2015

New Savings Group Teaches Crucial Business Skill

Until now, Zardozi has supported its clients’ entrepreneurial dreams with interest-free loans. But in an effort for these women and the Community Business Centers to become more self-sufficient, it is promoting the traditional Afghan system known as Kesht. Keshtis widespread in Afghanistan but women are very seldom involved. Zardozi’s Mazar Regional Manager, Ata Mohammad, explained

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admin December 16 ,2015

Kesht – How a rotating savings and credit system is financially empowering Afghan women

Sohaila, 44, and her family had a lavish Eid celebration this summer—a luxury that they’re not often allowed considering the financially humble conditions they live in. Sohaila hails from Qalai Fatuh, a small village outside Kabul city, and is the only earning member, a sole support, for her family of seven members. Similarly, this was

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admin December 09 ,2015

Mah Jan took charge as the financial support of her family after losing her husband

Losing her husband was perhaps the saddest day in Mah Jan’s life. “My husband was the most caring and kind person. I spent so many happy years with him,” she recalls with fondness. “We built a life together, even though we had very little to begin with. He was an orphan and lived with his

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admin December 09 ,2015

From sewing blankets to sowing cucumber, how Pari Gul expanded her business at the age of 50

Fifty-year old widow Pari Gul knew little about running a business. She had spent most of her life raising her seven children. “Two of my sons are university graduates and two others have completed high school. And one of my daughters is a teacher,” she shares proudly. Pari Gul knew how to sew and it

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admin December 09 ,2015

Zardozi loans enable Amina to expand her business venture in Mazar 

The first loan was seed capital of 12,000 Afghanis to help Amina set up her tailoring shop.

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admin December 09 ,2015

The house that Karima built

Karima started as a tailor and bead worker at Zardozi. Soon, her talents were noticed and she started to receive more orders from the market that brought with them a steady income.

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admin November 24 ,2015

How Suhila broke the circle of poverty through entrepreneurship

Suhila took a loan from Zardozi to start a shoe repair shop alongside her sewing business

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admin November 24 ,2015

Nargis went from being a refugee with meagre income to a job-creating entrepreneur

To aid the meagre family income, Nargis had learned tailoring as refugee in Pakistan

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admin November 24 ,2015

Sohaila-A struggling single parent

Sohaila is twenty-two years old and is from Herat Province. She was married to her cousin at seventeen years old but the marriage was not a happy one and eventually, ended in separation. Sohaila returned home to live with her parents, taking her child with her. With her and her child’s return to the family,

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admin March 04 ,2015

Shukria-A civil war widow

Shukria was widowed when her husband was killed during the Civil War; he was returning home from work when he was hit by a rocket during fighting between the Taliban and Government Forces. He left her with six children and her husband’s elderly first wife to care for. When Shukria joined Zardozi three years ago,

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admin March 04 ,2015

Hakima – supporting a step family

Hakima faced many problems; her husband was falsely accused of theft and was imprisoned which caused the family severe financial hardships. Hakima got married at the age of fifteen. Her new husband’s first wife had died and Hakima became a step mother to two daughters. At the time of their marriage, Hakima’s husband was employed

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admin March 04 ,2015

Scaling Impact in Inclusive Market Systems

One in three people in the world live in poverty. One in five live in extreme poverty. Transformative solutions with potential for large-scale impact are needed. Inclusive pro-poor market systems—including financial markets—offer pathways out of poverty to large numbers of poor and vulnerable people. Market-based solutions build on a holistic understanding of market systems with

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admin October 06 ,2014

Amina – Supports her drug addicted husband

Amina is a 35 year old woman from Herat province – she is married with 5 children, 4 of them in school. Her husband worked for several years in Iran where he became a drug addict; although he is unable to support his family he insists that that Amina defer to him in every decision

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admin August 25 ,2014

Fatima – Struggles to be independent

Fatima is now 23 years old and living in Herat – there are 6 members in her family. She never attended school because her father did not want his daughters to go to school. Fatima was 20 when her father passed away and her elder brother who is married became the head of the family. 

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admin August 25 ,2014

Sima Gul – Supports her family

Sima Gul is the daughter of her father’s second wife; when she was 13 years old her father who was old and sick, married her to her cousin because his sons from his first wife were hostile to the family of his second wife. Sima Gul’s cousin was a day labourer and over the years

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admin August 23 ,2014

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ZARDOZI is a local non‐government and non-profit organization aiming to provide social and economic services to empower Afghan women.

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