Workshops that Help Weavers
Armenian carpets and rugs have long been prized for their quality and beauty—in fact, some scholars even believe the Pazyryk carpet to be Armenian in origin. The ancient tradition of rug weaving in Armenia has been kept alive to the modern day, and weaving workshops are helping Armenians in poor communities to improve their living conditions.
Currently two charitable organizations, Cross of Armenian Unity and the Armenian Caritas, are sponsoring weaving workshops in various border communities where refugees settled after the Nagorno-Karabakh War. The women (carpet and rug making in Armenia is a traditionally female occupation) handspin wool and then use it to create beautiful carpets and rugs. (In case you were wondering about the difference, according to one of the Armenian weavers interviewed a carpet only requires a hand and yarn to create while a rug requires tools.)
The effect of these workshops is twofold: not only do they help to keep traditional textile techniques alive and well, they also provide meaningful employment to women in impoverished communities.