Senior Fellow Fahira Brodlija’s main inspiration for this project came from her visit to the Gaziantep Care and Rehabilitation Center for Syrian Widows, where she witnessed the strength and talent of refugee women, but also the lack of activities to distract them from their everyday struggle and give them a sense of purpose and empowerment. With her Action Project, Fahira aimed to address the lack of psychological support for Syrian women and the lack of activities aimed at female empowerment combined with learning new skills and earning a steady income.
The Action Project allows women from the center to teach each other how to sew. This is beneficial to both categories – the women who teach get a sense of empowerment and both groups have the opportunity to feel like they are back in the working world.
With this project, the group of women who learn how to sew are mastering a new useful skill, making clothes for their children and for sale. The money they make by selling the clothes will be a valuable contribution to their financial welfare. Simultaneously, all the women involved get to spend quality time away from their everyday worries and anxiety, they can share experiences, and feel supported and included in an important project.
Fahira was able to raise the needed money for the sewing machines and the material, and received it within two weeks from posting a call for donations (the funds raised amounted to $400, enough to purchase three sewing machines. There was also a generous donation of materials from Turkey and Saudi Arabia).