In the shadows of an electric generating station bringing electricity to the country of Georgia, sits the Nations Farm. “This area is named ‘The Valley of Hope.’” according to Reza, who has founded Nations Farm. One way the Nations Farm is bringing hope is by creating jobs and economic opportunity for a poor and struggling minority Azeri community in Georgia – mainly unmarried women and widows.
Creating jobs and economic opportunity comes from the manufacturing, distribution and selling of Kilim rugs through a project called “Kilim Creations”. On his trips to villages in Iran, Reza saw Kilim rugs: colorful tapestries that could be either hung from the ceiling as walls or used as floor coverings. The creation of these Kilim rugs preserves the heritage of the Persian people, but also assists women in supporting their families. It is difficult for women to secure work, especially in the agricultural off-seasons. This project will open another door for women to provide for their families, including sending their children to school.
Critical to this project is the production process: Kilim Creations will use traditional methods and materials of Kilim rug production to create unique, attractive, quality kilims and kilim-based products. All the materials such as wool from sheep, and natural dyes from organic sources will be produced on the Nations Farm. Currently, a weaving facility is being built on the Nations Farm that will house the production of the Kilim rugs. Use of the facility could begin in the Fall 2020. By combining traditional methods of weaving the Kilim rugs with modern distribution and marketing efforts, the project fuses traditional production methods with modern tools. The weaving facility will not only provide housing and kitchen capabilities, but also classrooms and training area for the women who work at Nations Farm.
One way in which partners of Tying Vines can help is in identifying markets and distribution centers for the Kilim rugs. If you own, or know of, a logistics or supply-chain company or other distribution business that is interested in partnering with this exciting new project, please contact us at admin@TyingVines.org .
Written by Robert St. John
Video credits: Bill Stewart, edited by Jacob St John.