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Friday, December 15, 2006

 

Red sweaters of joy

Kate, Steve and 8 of the 10 Bpeace associates who have come in partnership proudly beneath their new sign and storefront.

Steve works with Laila to intake the inventory.

Suria is radiant as she shows Kate her new handbag design.

A rack of Suria's handbags.

Marketing team take note: red was the most popular color among the Afghan girls receiving one of the brand new sweaters knit by Suria and her team of 14 widows.

Najib, Athena, a teacher and some of the 162 students who received "gifts of warmth" sweaters through Bpeace donors, members and friends.


BIG LAST DAY.

Highlights included the rest of the RKA associates see their fittings for the first time and the first product is ticketed. Kate cried at their words of appreciation and request that the team not leave (no pictures of the boo hoo).

Athena had the joy of accompanying Najib to one of the schools that Afghans for Tomorrow, the non-profit he heads up, sponsors in Kabul. The 162 children needed sweaters, so loads of Bpeacers--especially lots of friends of Pam Varkony in Allentown, PA area, and friends of Wendy Summer in CT--donated money so we could hire one of our associates, Suria, to knit the sweaters. The kids were thrilled to receive the sweaters and when Athena visited the play ground she saw many of them had already put them on. Winter in Kabul is cold! A few of the girls knew exactly what color they wanted -- there was an early run on the red ones!

Najib spends much of his time helping the schools his organization supports. Athena: The eyes and smiles of these girls were irresistible. And once again I felt the cultural divisions melt as we smiled and giggled together, picking the right sweater, and exchanging the very basic greetings: "Hello! How are you? I am fine!" several of them said with glee. And when I responded they giggled some more and took their new, warm sweaters and went back to study.

I am imagining children in happy red running through the streets of Kabul. Punctation marks of joy against the muddy brown streets.

Comments:
Despite the fact that I was sincerely praying for snow to give you extra time in Kabul, I hope this finds you all safe at home. Congratulations on all your good work -- know that you have indeed made a difference.

Kate, I showed your comment about the positive things that are happening in Afghanistan to a designer who I hope will donate (time and in-kind service probably) to Bpeace. He said Right ON! So keep spreading the word, every bit makes a difference.

Can't wait to see the last pics from the mission after you've all had some sleep.

xo

Paula
 
"Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it"

another thought again not my own but one I love and try to live by...and you all certainly do...

"And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret...And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another...."
Kahlil Gibran

What joy you have brought to all of us...here and abroad...I hope the happiness you have given us as we've read your daily writings will fill your holiday season with extra joy.

As you settle back in your warm,
safe(?), homes longing to be back there and struggling to re-adjust ... find peace in the memories that the "red" tide of peace that you continue to spread picks up momentum with each trip, each email and each point of contact... we've all heard the term "six degrees of separation"
you're creating "six degrees of transformation".
With love and hopes of peace for you and us all in the New Year.
K2
 
K2, I love "six degrees of transformation" and will promptly steal this sound bite (with your permission).

As I write this, the entire team is home, already burning up the emails with next steps.

What a trip, what accomplishment, what a team!!! Thank you Athena, Kate, Pam and Steve.

--Toni
 
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