The Social Workshop for Women is a project implemented by NAOMI in the last two years with the central goal the financial independence of particularly vulnerable women and their personal self-sufficiency to make decisions and act individually and collectively.
“One of our major aims is to support women in this seemingly hopeless and certainly overwhelming situation,” says Dorothee Vakalis, the chairperson of NAOMI, “and have therefore established the Social Workshop for Women.” Refugee women travelling alone and single mothers find here at NAOMI a protected and friendly space, encouragement, and advice. “I always look forward to the times when we meet at NAOMI,” says Patricia. “We stand together for each other; we support each other.”
Help for Self-Help for Women, environmentally aware and socially responsible
A comprehensive social support intervention is planned through a critical and holistic approach with participatory methods to activating and empowering the woman and the team, the acquisition of skills or the strengthening of existing ones through education and training for the production and sales of items in sewing workshops, as well as the environmental awareness under the philosophy of zero waste.
All the women participating in the workshop have completed sewing courses at NAOMI and are now correspondingly qualified, but the Greek unemployment rate is high, and they have little to no chance of finding a paid position. Worse still, they are not eligible for unemployment benefit, and so covering the costs of everyday items like flat rent, schoolbooks and writing material, not to mention medicine and medical treatment all become a major problem. Through sales of their products, they now hope to improve their lot and ease some of their financial difficulties. In this they are staunchly supported by the NAOMI team, with mentoring by a social worker, career counsellor, psychologist and an expert in fashion design and tailoring.
By keeping their creativity and environmental awareness, the women of the Social Workshop, together, produce lavender pillows, textile bags as replacement for plastic for grocery, cleaning cloths from scraps coming from the NAOMI tailoring workshop, as well as from other unsophisticated items.
All sales profits go entirely to the seamstresses.