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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


A co-operative store is opening in Kabul

Pam helping Suria, Bakhtnazira and Nasima choose the shop's wall color.

Steve and Najib and the other men taking a tea break.

Suria at work.

After this we decided to hire professionals.

What color paint on the walls?
What merchandise?
What is the logo?
Is it a good idea to hire a relative as a manager?
What merchandise zones?
Can we build shelves and cabinets?
How much will that sign cost?
1 or 2 fitting rooms?
Curtains or no curtains on the windows?
How are we going to hang those shelves?
Where is the charger for the drill?
Are men allowed to join the co-operative?
Do we need a tea area?
Can we build ottomans?
And cover them with fabric?
Do we need to hire a carpenter?
And finally despite best efforts . . .
Do we need to hire a painter?
Endless questions and lots of decisions.

Pam has immediately adapted and has made amazing progress in a short time . . .so comfortable and at ease in this environment and with the Bpeace associates. Kate and she had a wonderful day helping 10 of the associates who have formed themselves into RKA (Rangeen Kaman Artisians) reach big decisions with their new co-operative store. Equally wonderful to watch the discussions among the associates.

Steve and Najib spent the day "doing man's work" . . .painting and moving heavy things. Sent back to store as they brought home unsatisfactory paint color. Same everywhere in the world. Women loved it!

Oh, its so exciting. Laughter and tears come to my eyes as I read the blog. What great work. The store is becoming a reality. I am so proud of the women and Kate B, Kate Meth and Pam who have put so much work into it making this happen. Is it freezing in the store? What were the women doing while the men took their tea brake?
Congradulations to all the women involved as well as their dedication. To all the men I would like to congradulate for all their hard work, even if they bought the wrong paint.
What a joy to read the blog and see you in action! Ye gods, what an amazing way to spend your vacation time! I am so proud and so privileged to know you and be part of the Bpeace work. I am galvanized, determined to get even more involved!

Ellen Lubin-Sherman
Some of you have heard me say, "doing our Bpeace work is like watching paint dry," because making systemic change is so slow.

But in this case, I am thrilled to be watching REAL paint dry through these photos. Oh my gosh, 10 UNRELATED Afghan women partnering for their very own retail store--who would have thunk that when Bpeace brought them together, this would have happened.

And like Marla, I laughed and cried too. Thank you all.

Fabulous work by all!! I am so very proud of everyone.

So where in Kabul is the store located? The inside looks good, but what neighborhood is it in?

Big hugs to all,

It is uplifting to see people working together, engaging in the normal, every day act of painting a room! A fresh new start in a country that needs hundreds of fresh new starts on a daily basis! Keep up the great work you all are doing. By the way, what color did yoou choose? Stay well.
The store is around the corner from BK's store and Venus Fitness System. We might end up with a Bpeace 'hood.

p.s. Marla the women were enjoying their Chief Burger lunch in the large comfortable meeting room which sits in lovely sunshine in her new office
Mazeltov and much love to everyone. Keep those photos coming - the stories they tell are amazing. Of course, your stories are incredible as well, but the pictures say it all. I am overwhelmed.
Love to you all, Dana K
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