Re-Branding Afghanistan Creating Jobs, Changing Perceptions, Empowering Women

  • Duration: 
    Nov 2015 – Nov 2018
  • Value: $4.8 million

OVERVIEW

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Re-Branding Afghanistan Creating Jobs, Changing Perceptions, Empowering Women (RACCEW) project aims to create a self-sustaining and diverse Afghan artisan sector that is able to flourish independently, utilizing the experience and expertise acquired by the acclaimed vocational school Turquoise Mountain since it was established in Afghanistan in 2006. By empowering women, instilling pride, and employing thousands of Afghan artisans, RACCEW will create a workforce that will enhance the positive image of Afghanistan around the world.

ACTIVITIES

  • Provide business mentoring to at least 115 Afghan artisan businesses to help them enhance their product quality
  • Facilitate access to capital and create international and domestic market linkages
  • Create 1,100 new or better jobs over three years, with increased participation of women and youth
  • Shape a more positive international image of Afghanistan through the rebranding of Afghan artisan products
  • Enable the improvement of the Turquoise Mountain Institute curriculum and review the implementation of the Institute’s sustainability plan
  • Reaffirm Turquoise Mountain's partnership with the Murad Khani community

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • 45 artisan businesses have received business mentoring, in Kabul, Bamiyan, Balkh and Aqcha.
  • 20 businesses are receiving intensive support; sales have grown by 29 percent this year.
  • 24,000 visitors and over 100 journalists visited the “Made in Afghanistan” show curated by Turquoise Mountain at the 2016 Milan Triennial, a prestigious design exhibition in Italy.
  • International export partnerships have been created, including with Nordstrom, a U.S. department store.
  • Five international carpet wholesalers have been signed up in Europe and North America to source production from Afghanistan in partnership with a fair-trade verification organization.
  • The Turquoise Mountain Institute’s sustainability plan has been reviewed and strengthened; its viability is guaranteed for at least the next 10 years.

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