Rebuilding Afghanistan's Villages, Rug by Rug Rebuilding Afghanistan's Villages, Rug by Rug
Social Innovation

Rebuilding Afghanistan's Villages, Rug by Rug

by Zak Stone

January 17, 2012

“These people are so desperately poor that while they weren’t totally sure that we would pay them what we said they’d pay them, they were willing to take a chance,” Duckworth says. “The first time we paid the 50 percent bonus, word spread like wildfire and we became oversubscribed.”

ARZU staff also pay the women directly, in plain sight of their families. “What’s happened culturally is the balance of power in the household starts to shift,” Duckworth says. “When women are the sole wage-earner[s] and supporting a family group of 10 or 15 people, and there’s no employment for men in the area in which we work, she suddenly is treated with great respect.”


Photos 2 and 4 courtesy of Thomas Lee; Photo 3 courtesy of Sgt. Heidi Agostini, USMC; Photos 1 and 5 courtesy of ARZU
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Rebuilding Afghanistan's Villages, Rug by Rug