“I didn’t have that much interaction with people in Amman before coming to CRP’s Hope Workshop. I meet a lot of women here and I really enjoy working with them. . . I also benefit from making money from my projects!” — Huda, Hope Workshop Member at Collateral Repair Project
Upon leaving their countries, many families leave behind their livelihoods as well. Unable to work in Jordan, people must find new ways to provide for their families and spend their time. Hope Workshop provides opportunity for both.
Collateral Repair Project partnered with Advocacy Project in 2010 to begin Hope Workshop for women. Since that time, Hope Workshop has grown to include sewing, crocheting, embroidery, and making Advent and Ramadan calendars.
Each year, Advocacy Project commissions quilted squares from Hope Workshop as part of their Quilt Campaign. These embroidered squares depict women’s hopes for the future, or difficulties from their past.
Embroidering these scenes provides an outlet for the women to work through difficult events from their past. Working together on projects provides a community for these women where they can relax and spend time with friends.
Upon completion, Collateral Repair Project sends the squares to Advocacy Project in the United States to be sewn into a quilt. The finished quilt then tours the United States or gets sold. The women of Hope Workshop design and embroider their own squares, with help from volunteers and staff at Collateral Repair Project.
The sewing group sews ornaments and door stoppers in the shapes of gnomes, using traditional Arab fabrics. In the knitting circle, women knit and crochet hats, scarves, and other winter clothing. The calendar is a massive project, including a lot of coordination between women, who design, cut out, and assemble large felt Advent and Ramadan calendars. While Collateral Repair Project oversees these projects, the women do everything else.
Collateral Repair Project accompanies the women to markets to sell their handmade goods. 90% of all money made goes directly to the women while the rest goes back into materials. This allows women to make money with dignity and provides a sense of independence.
Hope Workshop teaches refugee women to manage their finances and how to confidently take part in the markets. Collateral Repair Project makes sure that the workshop meets the needs of the community by having refugees run the workshop.
At its heart, this is a place for women to gather together and socialize while they work. Working on these projects allows them to spend their time in a productive manner and relieve stress at the same time.