What better way to foster team spirit and friendship than with Afghan made DOSTI soccer balls? Afghan women have been renowned for centuries for deft needlework. Now the women of DOSTI, meaning “friendship” in Dari, have harnessed that heritage to handcraft club-quality soccer balls.
Each ball is sturdily hand-stitched using 32 panels of highest quality synthetic leather producing soccer balls with superior bounce and shape. Bearing DOSTI’s signature Doves in Flight pattern in the colors of the Afghan flag, each ball purchased provides meaningful employment for Afghan women
- Club-quality soccer ball
- 32 hand-stitched panels, made from the leading synthetic leather, and a latex bladder
- Silk-screened with a dovedesign in the colors of the Afghan flag, and the words: “Made by Afghan women”
- Available in Size 5 (ages 12 and up)
- Measurements: 8″L, 8″W, 8″H
- Weight: 15oz
DOSTI soccer balls spark change through employment for Afghan women. During this introductory phase, DOSTI soccer balls are only available through Global Goods Partners, the non-profit Fair Trade online retailer.
THE DOSTI STORY
Two female Afghan entrepreneurs share a product, and a mission: Soccer balls as a means to financial independence for Afghan women.
Taj and Aziza were heading up their own businesses, each employing women in the manufacture of soccer balls; Aziza in Kabul, and Taj in Daikundi Province. They separately had the idea: Afghan women’s self-reliance is linked to steady work-from-home income.
Bpeace suggested they combine efforts. With the help of Bpeace and partial financial support from Beyond the 11th Foundation, Taj and Aziza formed DOSTI, a joint venture that produces soccer balls in Afghanistan for distribution in the United States.
Today, they collectively employ 564 Afghans, and DOSTI balls are starting to enter the U.S. market. By stitching 500 soccer balls, or 1 – 2 balls per day, an Afghan woman can earn enough income from DOSTI to support a family of six for a year.
- Soghra is sending her 4 brothers and sisters to school, and has opened a bank account in order to save for the future.
- Rahila is taking English classes, and is providing financially for her brother and sister.
- Mursal has the means to purchase the oil and fuel for her family’s home during the cold winters.
THE CRAFT PROCESS
Each DOSTI ball is meticulously handcrafted and quality-tested, combining traditional skills and 21st century standards.
The process for every DOSTI ball is the same: Stretching the synthetic leather; drying it (which takes 3 days in the summer, and 6 days in the winter); cutting the material into 32 panels; silk-screening; hand-stitching the panels together; washing and airing the finished ball; and, finally, a rigorous quality control test.
Sewing the panels by hand is the most time-consuming element of the process, and also the most crucial for the soccer balls’ quality. DOSTI workers often do their sewing from home–which is not only more practical for their lives as mothers and homemakers, but also safer. DOSTI makes it possible for Afghan women to be financially independent without risking their security, or threatening traditional roles. And the pay is better: Other home-based employment options, such as embroidery, take significantly more time for equivalent money.
Buy one DOSTI soccer ball or up to 19 balls for $45 per ball plus shipping through Global Goods Partners.
For bulk orders between 20 and 199 DOSTI soccer balls contact Jennifer Gootman here or call 212.461.3647.
Wholesale orders 200 or more balls will be delivered in 4-5 weeks for $18 per ball. Shipping included direct from Kabul factory. Contact us here or call 347.526.5394.
DOSTI IN THE NEWS
The Healers of 9/11 by Nicholas D. Kristof
September 9, 2010
“Another initiative has been to train Afghan women, through a group called Business Council for Peace, to run a soccer ball manufacturing company. The bosses have been coached in quality control, inventory management and other skills, and they have recruited unemployed widows to stitch the balls—which are beginning to be exported under the brand Dosti.”