Afghan Women’s Collective works to empower refugees

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On Saturday, November 19, the groups will sell fabrics made by refugees at the Celebration Community Church in Denver from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

DENVER — As Zarghon Hamzolay sat in his living room in Denver, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride for the fabrics he was holding.

“It’s the bags… one of my sisters-in-law – she made it,” he said with a smile. “Yes, I’m proud because she works hard.”

Hamzolay brought his family to the United States from Afghanistan in early 2020. Over the past year, more of his family members have also been able to make it through.

Hamzolay was a mechanic for the US Army for years in Afghanistan.

“Yes, I feel safe here, especially for life, for my children’s education,” he said.

A local group, the Afghan Women’s Collective of Denver helped his family, especially Afghan women, by providing resources to sew fabrics and sell them.

Hamzolay says it has helped his family.

“I wanted to give them an opportunity to do something for themselves, to earn their own money, to be proud of something they’ve created…which they really are,” said the creative director. of the band, Beth Finesilver.

She said the group has helped at least four Afghan women hone their sewing and crocheting skills to produce all kinds of fabrics – from towels to pet accessories and more.

“And after a few months, we were on our way,” she recalls.

After at least two sales, one in the summer and one in the fall, they nearly sold out the entire inventory, she said.

On Saturday, November 19, they’ll be hosting another sale, this time at Celebration Community Church in Denver.

“Number one, I love them so much, I see them all as family now, but their resilience, their ability to get things done, their love of their family, their love of their children, their sense of humor,” said Finesilver about Afghan women. “Our ability to communicate with each other and we don’t speak the same language…but we know exactly what we mean to each other and what we’re trying to say.”

Finesilver and Hamzolay believe this has helped them to take responsibility.

“That’s one way…that people will see and start supporting them,” he said.

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