Leather craftsmanship has a long – and as so often male – tradition in Afghanistan. Including leather design in ALS’s training portfolio was viewed with similar skepticism as jewelry design. Nevertheless, since 2015, 25 female students have learned to make various leather utensils at NAZO’s Ahmad Shah Baba Mena training center. The training lasts 2 years.
The teaching offer is not limited to the material leather, but also includes canvas, (old) tarpaulins, imitation leather, etc.. In general, the women use all materials from which it is possible to make sturdy, portable containers. The result is products such as:
On Their Way to Self-Employment
Former schoolgirls have joined forces and independently set up a leather studio in the center’s premises. The women can continue to leave their homes daily to work in the group – not having to retreat again to practice their craft in isolation in their family environment.
Over the years, the groups exchange knowledge, promote each other and work more effectively – in short, the workshop promotes the progress of the women among themselves, the “network”.
Many of the former students now teach their own apprentices in their studios.