Threads of Change

In response to the intersecting problems of illiteracy, poverty,  and lack of women's rights in Afghanistan, Rubia created "Threads of Change" (ToC). We launched ToC  in two provinces, Nangarhar  and Farah, in 2011.  Click here for Fact Sheet highlighting ToC.   For PDF

While participating in guided discussions with the aid of a skilled facilitator, women learn how to embroider illustrations of the lessons promoting family health and hygiene, women’s rights to education and voting, banning child marriage, and women as conflict resolvers. Embroidering these images introduces basic information that seclusion and illiteracy have blocked from their lives. Each participant receives and brings home a booklet with a set of illustrations, each bearing a different message, such as hand washing, breast -feeding, immunization, voting rights and female literacy. 

Targeted at non-literate women, "Threads of Change” communicates visually. For example, while embroidering a mother breastfeeding, women have heard about its advantages over bottle-feeding for their babies’ health. Traditionally, a woman holding a Koran, as in the illustration below of two fighting boys, signifies the need for peace. While copying this design, the women absorb the importance of resolving disputes through peaceful means.

While re-creating an image of children washing their hands –with soap, the women are poised to absorb the importance of using soap for good health and hygiene.  

To learn more about Rubia’s work in mending Afghanistan stitch by stitch, read this article!

With funding from Dining for Women,  Rubia's Afghan partner, Humanitarian Organization for Local Development (HOLD) will spread this innovative curriculum to  500 more women over the next 3 years. Click below to learn more about this initiative from Rubia's founder, Rachel Lehr.