How You Can Help Afghan Women And Snag A Gorgeous New Scarf Too

Matin Maulawizada is no stranger to leading a double life. Many know him as a top fashion and celebrity makeup artist (at least, editors and clients like Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Claire Danes do). Some know him as Neutrogena’s in-house science expert on cosmetics. After all, he does have a Master’s in Molecular Biology. But Kubul-born Matin also has another occupation: He is the founder of Afghan Hands, a hybrid education organization/business dedicated to empowering Afghan widows whose husbands were killed by the Taliban and have no employment prospects or ways to support themselves and their children. The business model is simple: Matin brings the women together and provides a safe place where they can gather to hand-embroider scarves, shawls, throws and more, then sells their wares in the U.S. and abroad, and the profits go back to fund the womens’ education. You can purchase one of their gorgeous cashmere, wool, cotton and silk blend pieces here, but if you can’t afford it, you can also support them by voting for them in the BBC’s World Challenge competition. Right now, they’re in the running to receive the prestigious award, grant and widespread media attention geared towards informing people of the cause. It takes five minutes to vote. Do it here. Do it now! (Please.) [Afghan Hands and BBC World Challenge]