Syrian women in Turkey make a fresh start at Amal'Art lab

Craftsmanship provides opportunities

05 October, 14:25

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, 5 ott - A project called Amal'art vies to give Syrian women in Turkey an opportunity to get a job and meet other refugees while working in the textile business. The laboratory is organized by the association Amal for Education with the objective of enabling Syrian women to earn money and help support their families.

    Laboratory provides opportunity for Syrian women The project was created as part of activities of Amal for Education, which has been helping Syrian refugees since 2014.

    Isabella Chiari, president of Amal for Education, told ANSA that the organization has an ''educational center in Kilis, a Turkish city on the border with Syria with a very significant presence of Syrian refugees: they are 53% of the population, about 120,000 people with a very low income''.

    ''Over the years, we have helped 1,500 children, we are open all year'', she added. The center has contributed to train a community, enabling Syrian women to learn a craft. The idea of Amal'Art was to respond to specific needs like ''giving a chance to women who did not receive a higher education with an initiative they could take advantage of'' to help them ''improve their skills while getting paid work to help support their family''.

    Moreover, the laboratory is a means for the association to ''raise money with the products made in order to fund projects''.

    An opportunity for refugees to meet, forge friendships Some 20 women work in the lab every day. About 90% of proceeds made from sales go to them while the rest funds projects promoted by Amal for Education. ''The important is for women to be able to support themselves, it's a security for them, it gives them pride and stability'', stressed Chiari.

    The products made in the lab include crochet dolls, bags, keychains and other accessories ''that can be well-liked in the West yet echo traditions of the Middle East''. Other NGOs and associations, ''have asked us to produce things for them, which is very positive because we help each other out'', she added.

    This project also brought together a group of women with different training. ''Meeting every day has created positive relationships and a good atmosphere'', said Chiari.

    An elderly woman who suffers from panic attacks because of the trauma she suffered in Syria and cannot stay home by herself has been able to get out and meet other people ''in a safe environment where experiences are shared'' thanks to the project - ''working is a medicine for her'', continued Chiari. The activity ''created social cohesion''. Women in the lab ''become friends. This is the positive side of being together, a value that is almost higher that the economic side of the initiative'', concluded Chiari.

    (Some dolls made by the craft laboratory Amal'Art.

    Credit: Amal for Education)
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