Since the Taliban took power in August 2021, the work situation in Afghanistan, and for women in particular, has deteriorated. Despite the immense restrictions on the individual freedom of women, there is no general ban on working; if women participate in the labor market, they must be able to separate themselves from men. Within the blacksmith trade there seems to be an opportunity for women in terms of work and training, and the Visions for Children association now wants to take advantage of this.

    “Due to the many years of project work by the association Visions for Children eV at schools, awareness of the limited opportunities for school leavers in Afghanistan grew. In surveys and interviews, the schoolgirls told us that their chances of finding qualified training or a job were often slim. In addition, many schoolgirls from economically weak backgrounds drop out of school early in order to get married, to help in the household or in the family business. After the regime change in August 2021, this situation deteriorated even more,” the club said in a statement.

    He created a nine-month jewelrysmith apprenticeship program that offers school graduates and unemployed women realistic and diverse job opportunities in the art of blacksmithing. Theoretical and practical training phases enable the participants to work independently or as an employee and to build up a network with other blacksmiths.

    Training and job opportunities in blacksmithing

    “The art of blacksmithing is highly regarded in Afghanistan, including the work of women. Blacksmiths enjoy a very high social status. For filigree and very careful pieces of jewellery, the work of women is often even preferred. In addition to its social status, blacksmithing also offers sustainable job opportunities, as the demand for craftsmanship is very high,” says the association.

    The basic funding for the project is guaranteed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). However, due to inflation and sanctions against Afghanistan, the project costs have increased massively, which has led to an open requirement of 90,000 euros, which must be covered as soon as possible in order to start the project.

    “In order to secure the project financing, we are implementing a doubling action with the Aurora Borealis endowment fund as a first step,” says Hila Limar, Executive Director of Visions for Children eV. “That means: if supporters donate 25 euros, for example, 50 euros of that goes to the project. Up to 25,000 euros will be doubled, from which we could finance important cornerstones of the training, such as the salary of the trainer and trainee.”