The basic premise of the FBMI programme is to provide sustainable opportunity. Women in particular are empowered by using the weaving and spinning skills they already possess, supported further with vocational training. By providing the resources they require, such as looms and wool, and paying a fair market rate for their work, the Initiative gives women their dignity to feed and care for their families as well as support the wider community.
FBMI currently employs almost 3,000 low income Afghans; over 70% of them are women and 35% of them are widows. The majority engage in spinning and weaving activities from the comfort of their home. Others hold office positions in the headquarter facilities in Kabul and Jalalabad. Many of them are residents of refugee camps. As the organization and the Initiative grows, it will seek to expand into new areas of Afghanistan, and to serve as a role model for other like Initiatives to improve the life of Afghanistan’s citizens.
In addition to those actively involved in carpet production, the Initiative also contributes to the employment of medical, educational, vocational and administrative staff. These are particularly important in ensuring that the social and welfare aspects are in line with its commercial sustainability, a core component of its long term aims.
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