Sewing Hope for Armenia is an initiative with two clearly defined objectives:
1)To offer dignified, honourable, fulfilling and sustainable employment to impoverished and refugee women
2)To perpetuate traditional artisanship and culture which could disappear due to war and displacements of people.
Many women are single mothers, who have either lost their husbands or whose husbands are unable to work due to illness or injury. The women are left with no choice but to become to sole breadwinners of the family. In an economy where jobs are scarce and where populations have been displaced, options are few.
Sewing Hope for Armenia offers a strong platform for these women to earn a living in a sustainable and dignified manner, by becoming ambassadors of the artisanship and craftmanship of their cultures and countries. The program uses traditional Armenian textiles to create a collection of homewares, pillows, blankets, handbags, purses, ties, backpacks, laptop bags and pouches entirely made by vulnerable women to be sold internationally to provide a living to contribute to their family income, be able to educate their children and create a handicraft industry celebrating Armenian artisanship.
In December 2020, following the 44 day war which cost Armenia 6,000 soldiers and displaced ten times as many civilians, 11 Industrial sewing machines were donated and set up in a centre in located in central Yerevan, on Baghramyan Street, a centre easily accessible by bus and metro. Initial training of 14 women, carefully selected for their precarious conditions and ability to learn sewing was held in January 2021. Today, each woman earns $400 a month which will allows her to regain a purpose, dignity, be able to feed her family and put a decent roof over their heads. Our objective is to grow the centre to offer more women the same possibility, and to open centres in other cities in Armenia as well.