Rubia, Inc. is a New Hampshire, USA, non-profit organization working with Rubia in Afghanistan to serve women in rural Afghanistan, through education, skills training and the promotion of their hand-embroidered textiles.
Named for a red root used to dye yarn, Rubia is creating new traditions in textiles by translating the heritage and skills of Afghan women into sustainable livelihoods. All aspects of the development and implementation of Rubia’s programs are rooted in Afghanstan, using community members at all levels to help build the economy and capacity in their home region.
EMBROIDERY IS THE HEART AND SOUL OF TRADITIONAL AFGHAN TEXTILES. Traditionally, embroidery has been women’s handwork, done at home, between domestic chores, to enhance their surroundings. Rubia integrates these traditional elements with the new benefit of earning an income while maintaining fragile elements of their tectile heritage: plant dyes, natural fibers and designs drawn from ancient Afghan tribal patterns.
Alternative livelihoods are the key to Afghanistan’s social and economic recovery. Subsistence farmers who had supported their families with poppy cultivation are now seeking other means of economic empowerment. Poppy flowers and other designs embroidered by women in the valley of Darrai Noor provide a legitimate source of income, a new tradition in textiles.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, TOO, by purchasing beautiful Rubia embroidery to support a self-sustaining business. Visit their online catalog at http://rubiahandwork.org/catalog/index.html.
Rubia is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a registered public charity, which provides non-profit status. www.saveourplanet.org