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Anita Haidary, A role model, a change-maker and a leader

By Zuhra Abhar

Anita, a young Afghan college student, is the co-founder and the Executive Director of Young Women for Change

Anita says: “I am proud of being an active voice of young women and men in society who believe in change.”

Anita grew up in an open-minded family: her parents played an important role in getting Anita and her four sisters and one brother an education. During the war in 1997, Anita and her family fled to Pakistan. In 2002, Anita and her family returned to Afghanistan with hope for a better future.

As a young girl, Anita always hoped that one day the voice of Afghan women could be heard and they would have equality and rights. Anita is a leader and a role model for other young Afghan women. In 2008, she graduated from high school and went to American University Central Asia. After six months of hard work and dedication, she was accepted and received a four-year scholarship at Mount Holyoke College. Currently, Anita is in her third year of college. Her passion and dedication encouraged her to become a voice of women in Afghanistan.
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GoodWeave: Weaving Opportunities for Women in Afghanistan

“It is audacious to aspire to end human rights abuses in an unsettled nation, but GoodWeave’s progress in just one year proves to me that where there is a willingness to try, much can be accomplished.” – Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed, and A Thousand Splendid Suns

GoodWeave International works to end child labor and trafficking in the rug industry and to support weaving communities around the world. Building on its nearly 20 years of experience in India and Nepal, GoodWeave expanded to Afghanistan in 2011. Many people said GoodWeave couldn’t succeed in this war-torn country. Today, GoodWeave is proving them wrong, and the very first certified Afghan rug reached the market last winter.

The journey of that rug was not easy – it took building faith in communities that have seen too many short-range development projects. It took adapting GoodWeave’s best-in-class supply chain monitoring program to reach women weavers hidden on home-based looms. And it took delicate, even dangerous, negotiation to ensure that girls found working would have the chance to learn.
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