Our first full day in Afghanistan was very, very full. We began our morning at the Business Council for Peace (“Bpeace”) office, with Laila Ahmadzai, our program director in Afghanistan. We collaborate on the ground with other partners to further our mission and accomplish our work more effectively. BPeace is one such alliance.
In 2002, a year after 9/11, a group of American business people asked themselves what they could do to give peace a chance. This question led to the formation of the non-profit Bpeace. The idea was to help women in post-conflict countries build sustainable businesses. The strategy and logic were simple: more jobs mean less violence.
Bpeace volunteers set their sights on Afghanistan and traveled there to find women who operated covert businesses under the Taliban and were emerging as Afghanistan’s new entrepreneurs. The Afghan women who produced products received pay in accordance with Fair Trade practices, and part of the profits help women in Bpeace programs grow and prosper, benefiting their families while creating more jobs in their communities. Susanne is a Bpeace member on the Rwanda team and Debbie is on the Executive Council, Co-Chair of the Product Marketing team and active on the Afghanistan team.
I am so impressed with the progress the associates have made since the Style Road Trip event in New York. We had an awesome reunion with Habiba at the Bpeace office. She was so excited that she got her passport and has been accepted to a mini MBA program at Thunderbird. She also shared about her daycare which has grown and now cares for 29 kids.