"Peace Fleece is working together with Adventure Yarns, a non-profit that assists Tajik women farmers in the production of quality Angora goat fiber and teaches spinners, knitters and weavers how to produce luxury mohair yarns for export.
These mohair spinners have very few sources of income besides seasonal agricultural work picking fruit or cotton. Their main source of livelihood is money sent by men in the family who work in Russia. About 50% of Tajikistan’s GDP comes from these funds - the highest % in the world. Spinning is their only stable source of income. Working part time they can spin 1 skein of yarn in 2 days. With the money they earn from spinning one skein of yarn they can buy: 1 kg of chicken, 1 liter of milk, 1 loaf of bread, 1 kg of potatoes.
Income earned by women is the "best" income for the family because it is spent on basic family needs - food, clothing and the education of their children. Women who can save some money spend it on improving their house - one woman remodeled a porch, another bought a sewing machine. For some women who are divorced or abandoned by their husbands (some of whom marry again in Russia and do not return), having this income is literally a life saver. Without it, they have to rely on their relatives to feed themselves and their children and one can imagine how hard that is.
What is also very important for all spinners is to be recognized for their efforts. They work very hard but all the housework, childcare and elder care is taken for granted in their society. No one praises them for it. So having their yarn for sale in the US is a huge source of pride and accomplishment and a great boost for their self-confidence and self-esteem. So the psychological benefit they receive from this is no less important than the financial reward.”
Dr. Liba Brent, Project Organizer, US
Enjoy the incredible photography below showing the farmers, goats and the product they create.
Photos by Liba Brent
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