ARIA is a project for Afghan refugee women in Delhi, India.
After fleeing their war-torn homeland, they have to settle in a new country where their refugee status gives them little hope and minimal opportunity to earn a living.
This endeavour is an effort to amalgamate their traditional fine skills of crocheting, sewing and embroidery, with the needs of the modern market.
The project is based on the model initially set up for the Afghan women of Bhogal, near Nizamuddin.
The aim is to empower the women to eventually run all aspects of the project and earn a living anywhere with just their hands, some thread and a sewing machine.
Singer India Ltd, sewing machine manufacturers, has partnered with Aria to certify the women for stitching and tailoring. Thus the participants get much needed exposure to learning and working in a professional environment.
Exposure trips to other empowerment and production centres further their understanding of work culture and entrepreneurship.
Other skills training is facilitated via partnering with renowned beauty institutes like The Shahnaz Husain International Beauty Academy and Jawed Habib Academy.
The production of beautiful, handmade, crocheted bag packaging for other projects.
Completed products showcased at the Wills Fashion Week for designer Aneeth Arora.
An invitation to attend the Tamana Winter Carnival at the British High Commissioner’s residence in New Delhi and to display their handiwork.
Products from Aria are popular with event companies and well-known Indian brands like Fab India, and Bridal Asia.
Guidance to facilitate basic social security in their new environments.
Counselling for domestic issues.
Sensitizing them to the differences in their new environment.
Providing a safe environment for the women, who come from an extremely conservative culture and are often confined to their homes and families, to come to as the centre is located where they reside.