In June, we reported on the launch of Moonflowers, a company selling saffron that is hand-harvested by women farmers in Afghanistan's Herat region. Since that time, the country has been rocked by countless horrors due to Taliban control and, as a result, Moonflowers' mission has expanded.
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Under Taliban control, Afghan women will most likely be unable to work and leaves their homes. This will prevent Moonflowers from partnering with the Herat-based, female-run farms that provide the brand with its saffron. For now, the company has enough product to last through the spring of 2022, but after that, its ability to source is up in the air.
As an Afghan refugee herself, Tahmina Ghaffer, the founder of Moonflowers, is focused on doing all she can to help. "I founded Moonflowers with the hope of shedding light on the beauty of saffron and the many Afghan women who painstakingly cultivate it," she tells Hunker. "[T]he circumstances of the past several weeks have been both triggering and heartbreaking as we have seen the Taliban take control of the country. I have shifted my full attention to the safety of my partners in Afghanistan and assisting incoming refugees in any way I can."
In addition to aiding refugee families arriving in the U.S. by offering food, airport pick-ups, job opportunities, driver's license support, work skill training, and more, Moonflowers has added a direct donation option to the checkout page on its website. All of these funds will go directly to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an organization that assists people who have been displaced by conflict and disaster in rebuilding their lives.
"I know as a refugee that those first impressions when you arrive at an unfamiliar place are long-lasting, and the people and organizations that helped you out when you needed them the most stick with you," Ghaffer says. "The feeling of losing your home is unimaginable. Every bit of help during resettlement is very much appreciated."
Although the future is uncertain for Afghan women and girls, Moonflowers is hoping to provide them with support through its donations. If you'd like to help, you can shop the Moonflowers brand here and add a donation to your total when checking out or donate to the IRC here.