Every day, newspapers around the world publish stories about refugees, the situations that create them, and the debates that determine their futures. The people who come to CRP and participate in our various programs, from English classes to yoga to the Hope Workshop, our craft collective, represent some of the individuals behind these headlines. The Hope Workshop brings refugee women together to design and market hand-made crafts in local bazaars throughout Amman. Meet two of its members below:
When Jenan arrived in Jordan, she struggled to find activities to fill her days without the constants and routines of her life back in Syria. A friend, concerned about Jenan’s emotional wellbeing, suggested that Jenan needed a change of scene and told her about CRP’s Hope Workshop. “I was in my house, feeling sad,” Jenan said. “My friend suggested that I needed a change of scene.” Through the Hope Workshop, Jenan has sold the products she has made in Christmas bazaars around Amman. “It’s helpful for me to be around other people and to do work,” Jenan said. This year, the participants of the Hope Workshop are putting together a cookbook, and Jenan is excited to share her favorite recipes from Syria.
Majeda came to Jordan from Iraq with only $600 to support her and her daughter, Hind, who is deaf. Majeda was also struggling with some health problems, and was unsure how her family would be able to survive in Amman, which has one of the highest costs of living in the Middle East. “CRP and the Hope Workshop were a gift to me,” she said. The Hope Workshop gave Majeda an opportunity to learn more about her neighborhood, meet women who had had similar experiences, develop her skills as a craftsperson, and receive some income from the products she makes. Majeda enjoys sewing, and Hind, who has also joined the workshop, makes brightly colored bracelets.
The stories above are just a small part of the experiences of the over two dozen women who make up the Hope Workshop. CRP will continue highlighting more of these individual voices in the weeks to come.