LONGARONE, Italy—Yalea, the De Rigo Group house brand, has renewed its commitment alongside Women for Women International, a nonprofit organization that supports women in 14 conflict-affected countries around the world so that they are able to rebuild their lives. As part of this renewed commitment, De Rigo and Yalea are embracing the Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program in Afghanistan. In the east of Afghanistan, 125 women from Parwan will be enrolled in the program to participate in a 12-month social and economic empowerment training program.

The program will focus on topics including business skills, financial literacy, vocational training, household decision making, health and wellness, stress management and psychological first aid, support networks and rights awareness. In addition, the program provides a safe space for women to connect and support each other.

Women who graduate from this training program typically see powerful tangible results from their participation, including increases in their savings or income, greater say in household decisions, improved self-efficacy, ability to speak out against violence and increased food security, De Rigo reports.

 Image Courtesy of Arizoo Sadaat
Women for Women International has been working in Afghanistan for 20 years. In a release, De Rigo said, “Following the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021 and the subsequent humanitarian and economic crisis, Afghan women have been especially at risk. The humanitarian situation has steadily worsened, and millions are affected by acute food shortages—massively intensified by the war in Ukraine (UN, 2022).

"More than half of the Afghan population suffers from acute hunger (WFP, 2022), particularly women and children. Violence, poverty, and insecurity are on the rise and currently 97 percent of Afghans are at risk of living below the poverty line of $2.15/day (UNDP, 2021), the company said.”

Barbara De Rigo, chief marketing officer at De Rigo, said, “As a woman and entrepreneur, I feel especially proud to once again be teaming up with Women for Women International, offering—in this instance—a tangible contribution to improve the living conditions of Afghan women. I greatly desired the development of Yalea, a brand that, in an authentic and sincere way, was an inspiration and support to all women and which, in addition to offering them eyewear styles that enhance the personality and uniqueness of every individual, was also concretely involved in supporting projects that champion the growth, affirmation and independence of women the world over.”

Sara Bowcutt, managing director at women for Women International – U.K., said, “I am so pleased to continue our partnership with Yalea—an all-female brand celebrating women’s freedoms and talent. Women in our programs learn about their health, rights, and a marketable job skill—such as tailoring, bread-making or poultry-keeping—as well as gaining business training to turn their skill into a stable income so they can support themselves and their families.

"By supporting our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program in Afghanistan, Yalea is helping some of the world’s most marginalized women survivors of war build a better future for themselves and their children, creating a ripple effect of change that helps to make the world more equal, peaceful and prosperous,” Bowcutt said.