Annual Report 2019


New fashions, new friendships

Through the sale of its Red Pashminas and other accessories, Red Pashmina Inc. continues to ‘walk with women here and in Afghanistan’ by supporting the education of women and their families in Afghanistan, in partnership with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

As a grassroots non-profit organization based in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, Red Pashmina aims to celebrate, empower and connect women who are making a difference, in Canada and around the world.

At home, Red Pashmina honours the trials, triumphs and commonalities of local women alongside those in Afghanistan, and supports newcomer women of Peterborough.

2019 Happenings

• Red Pashmina sponsored a film at ReFrame Film Festival in January

Also in January, Aquela Mahaqqeq, a recent newcomer to Peterborough from Afghanistan, sewed a number of blue silky-soft scarves – named “Window on Afghanistan” – which sell for $25. RP was able to provide a fair wage to Aquela for her work

Members of the Sewing Collective of the Peterborough New Canadians Centre sewed a number of red/grey reversible cowl scarves, made especially for Red Pashmina, which in turn were sold by RP for $15 each. RP was able to provide a fair wage to the local sewers


A $3,000 cheque from Red Pashmina Inc. was presented to Lauryn Oates, executive director of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, at the Red Pashmina Walk in April

• Over a number of months in the winter/spring of 2019, three Fleming College business students worked with Red Pashmina Inc. to advise and create strategies for the organization. Using current market analysis, they offered a number of recommendations for making Red Pashmina a viable social enterprise, increasing its sales, and increasing its visibility in the community and business sector

The Red Pashmina Walk, organized and led annually by the Peterborough Chapter of CW4WAfghan, was once again held in April. There have now been 10 walks – from 2011 to 2019 – which have raised a total of $35,105.88. The week in which the walk was held was proclaimed by the City of Peterborough as Red Pashmina Week

In June, RP introduced its ‘tote bag’ – a red cotton carrying bag sewn by local Afghan newcomer Aquela Mahaqqeq, for which she was paid a fair wage. One side of the tote is decorated with a design of Simorgh, the symbol of an ancient Persian story. Masha Mohseni, a young Afghan newcomer and blossoming artist, created the image and graciously donated her talent

• In August, following the retirement of its previous accountant, Steve Barker, RP employed BDO to complete and file its income tax for the 2018-2019 year, at a cost of $282.50

• In March, Fox Law prepared a ‘corporate reorganization’ document confirming the resignation of David Heuft as a Director of Red Pashmina Inc., effective Dec. 31, 2019

The Story of Simorgh

Here is the story that accompanies Mahsa’s art work on our tote bag:

Simorgh (literally meaning thirty birds, which are catching dreams and bringing happiness) is a story from the Persian poet Farid u-din Attar, from his book ‘Conference of the Birds’. The story recounts the longing of a group of bird who search for a leader. They decide the legendary “Simorgh” should be their king and they go on a journey to find him. They journey over seven valleys, each representing one stage of attainment to wholeness. One by one, the birds drop out, unable to fulfill the challenging journey. Eventually only thirty birds reach the land of Simorgh, but instead of finding their spiritual leader, all they see is their own reflection in a lake. As the birds realise the truth, they see they are no separate from the universe — they are one with it.