Learn the story of DOSTI and purchase a soccer ball now.
DOSTI Soccer Balls
DOSTI produces high-quality soccer balls, hand-stitched by the women of Afghanistan.
But it also does a lot more — DOSTI, meaning "friendship" in Dari, is helping bring independence and strength to Afghan women. By stitching 500 soccer balls, or 1-2 balls a day, an Afghan woman can earn enough income from DOSTI to support a family of six for a year.
For centuries, the women of Afghanistan have been renowned for their deft needlework. Now DOSTI harnesses that heritage to handcraft club-quality soccer balls. Each ball is sturdily hand-stitched using 32 panels of highest quality synthetic leather producing soccer balls with superior bounce and shape.
Bearing DOSTI’s signature Doves in Flight pattern in the colors of the Afghan flag, each ball purchased provides meaningful employment for Afghan women.
Two entrepreneurs share a product and a mission: Soccer balls as a means to financial independence.
Taj and Aziza were heading up their own businesses, each employing women in the manufacture of soccer balls; Aziza in Kabul, and Taj in Daikundi Province. Both believed that Afghan women’s self-reliance is linked to steady work-from-home income.
Bpeace suggested Taj and Aziza combine efforts. With the help of Bpeace and partial financial support from Beyond the 11th Foundation, they formed DOSTI, a joint venture that produces soccer balls in Afghanistan for distribution in the United States.
Today, they collectively employ 475 Afghans, and DOSTI balls are starting to enter the U.S. market. With the assistance of Bpeace, Taj and Aziza have realized their dream of bringing meaningful employment to the Afghan people.
Meticulously crafted, DOSTI balls combine traditional skills with 21st century standards.
The process for every DOSTI ball is the same: Stretching the synthetic leather; drying it; cutting the material into 32 panels; silk-screening; hand-stitching the panels together; washing and airing the finished ball; and, finally, a rigorous quality control test.
Sewing the panels by hand is the most time-consuming element of the process, and also the most crucial for the soccer balls’ quality. DOSTI workers often do their sewing from home–which is not only more practical for their lives as mothers and homemakers, but also safer. DOSTI makes it possible for Afghan women to be financially independent without risking their security, or threatening traditional roles. And the pay is better: Other home-based employment options, such as embroidery, take significantly more time for equivalent money.
“Another initiative has been to train Afghan women, through a group called Business Council for Peace, to run a soccer ball manufacturing company. The bosses have been coached in quality control, inventory management and other skills, and they have recruited unemployed widows to stitch the balls—which are beginning to be exported under the brand Dosti.”