When the Taliban took over the government of Afghanistan last August, the Minister of Education was the last to flee the building. She was one of the last to leave the country, so firmly did she want to stand with her people.
Rangina Hamidi has always lived a life of courage. Born in Kandahar, her family fled to the United States when she was a young child. When she graduated from the University of Virginia, she chose to go back to Kandahar and provide an outlet for women to earn an income and a chance at a better life. In a region where the literacy rate for women is only 13%, embroidery is the language women know, and so Rangina founded Kandahar Treasure, made up at one time of 500 artisan women, and worked to find a US market for their products. She later started a girls and boys school in Kabul, and was then elevated to the position of Minister of Education for Afghanistan just a year before the Taliban take-over.
Ibu has collaborated with Rangina for years, designing new product highlighting the women's superb skill in khamak embroidery. When she returned to the US last fall after the government take-over, Rangina negotiated with the Taliban to allow Kandahar Treasure to reopen and the women to work. They agreed. Ibu was the first in line to place an order and revive their work.
But they need more. The women and their families are without food, and the Ibu Foundation wants to help. We learned from Rangina that $125 will feed a family of 7-9 people for a month, and we are moving forward with an emergency relief grant. Fortunate to be able to reach the women through channels still open to Rangina, these women at Kandahar Treasure will get the support they need during this difficult time.
The Ibu Foundation will celebrate International Women's Day, and our three-year anniversary on March 8, and has invited Rangina to come speak to those of us in Charleston so that you, in person, may hear her captivating story, and support a larger hope for a workspace in Kandahar. We feel honored to host this remarkable woman.
Tickets are on sale today to join Rangina Hamidi, in conversation with long-time friend, Susan Hull Walker, generously hosted by, and in the offices of Garden & Gun (see full details and purchase tickets here). Come to hear a brave woman speak of the homeland she loves, the women she works tirelessly to support, and the future she dreams of for Afghanistan.
All the Best,
Executive Director, Ibu Foundation