With the help of the ASB Non-Formal Education team and the support of IOM, Farkhonda teaches four puppet making classes.
Farkhonda (her name means “prosperous”) comes from the Province of Penshir (Five lions) in Afghanistan. When she was a small girl, she and her sister moved to Tehran where her parents were looking for a better life.
Farkhonda tells us that she remembers when her parents first told her about a puppet course, “my parents asked us if we wanted to enrol for this “puppet course” and I didn’t want to go, so my sister went. When she came back, she wasn’t very enthusiastic but when I saw the tools she brought home, I was head over heels, I wanted to do something with those tools. So, I took the course instead of my sister; that is how it all started.”
With her new craft as an asset, Farkhonda was hired by a factory making decorative elements. Animals were her favorite. “Cats, turtles, flying birds of peace”… She also used to donate them to minor boys working in the streets of Teheran as a comfort gift for their hard work and conditions.
In Katsikas, with the help of the ASB Non-Formal Education team and the support of IOM, she now teaches four classes, two hours each.
“During the teaching hours, I forget everything else”, she says.
Her little daughter of two is going from table to table, watching the students assembling and filling the small cut out patterns. Small elephant ears are stuffed with cotton.
“The elephant is my favorite”, Farkhonda says, “I love sharing my skills”.
“The only thing I regret is that I cannot understand the women’s languages as to correct them. Like yesterday, some of them sewed the ears together without filling, but I usually show them how with my hands”.
Golden hands indeed!