I am really pleased to have met inspirational social entrepreneur and businesswoman Sophia Swire back in May at Charlotte Eagar’s fund raiser for Syrian refugees.
Sophia who has spent many years working in Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan set up a charity a few years ago – Future Brilliance – to provide support to Afghan artisans and jewellery designers. Each candidate (many of whom are women) is given 6 months skills enhancement and business training to help them get jobs or build their own sustainable business. So far over 70 Afghans of all ages have received training in business skills, digital literacy, social media, e-commerce, design development, stone cutting, jewellery manufacturing and design or teacher training support. One of the programme’s early trainees, rural villager and widow Khala Zada has since her training, built up her new stone cutting business so much that she has been able to provide work not just for herself but many other women in her village.
New jewellery brand, Aayenda Jewelry is one of the products of the charity’s endeavour. Mentored by three American jewellers and supplied by the artisans trained up through Future Brilliance, two ranges have been developed, one luxury high end in 18ct gold with precious stones, the other, the ‘Ibiza’ range in gold plated silver, great for younger tastes and budgets with prices starting from around £30. Both fuse traditional Afghan cultural references with contemporary inspiration and use Afghan gemstones: bright green emeralds and clear cut tourmalines in the luxury range; turquoise and lapis lazuli in the ‘Ibiza’ range.
Tyger Glyn is really happy to be promoting the work of Aayenda Jewelry and thereby supporting in some small way the valuable charitable work of Future Brilliance. 100% of Aayenda’s profits go back into the charity to be spent on tools and other equipment, running costs of the workshops, further training places and expanding the artisans’ digital sales platform.
Aayenda’s fine jewellery is already available from Tyger Glyn. For further details please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ‘Ibiza’ winter range will be orderable from the autumn – easy gifts for yourself and loved ones.