Weavers in the dark: Avoska gives hope to the blind

An avoska (or rather avos’ka with a soft "s"), or “string bag”, is one of the most authentic Soviet accessories, resembling a basketball net. The name comes from the old Russian word avos', which can be translated as “What if?” What if one decides to help hundreds of disabled people and give them a job and hope?

"Historically, in Soviet times weaving these string bags was an opportunity for blind people to earn a living. In the 80s production was shut down and the disabled became unemployed," says Evgeniy Rapoport, project initiator. He decided to restore this craft. The All-Russia Association of the Blind helped him to contact specialists who knew how to do it. Now Evgeniy’s project "Avoska gives hope" provides average annual employment for up to 150 blind people.

"Our issue with sales has suddenly been resolved with the help of the Compass Group Company, which organizes corporate business lunches in 60 countries all over the world. They invited us and for us it's like a miracle! I hope now we’ll give jobs to many more blind people."

Read more: Where do people with disabilities work in Russia?

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