In 2021, SPI hosted two EU Aid Volunteer, Lucia and Martin. This blog, written by Martin summarizes the Microfinance project, that they proposed and implemented within the frame of SUDHAV3 project (Sustainable Development through Humanitarian Aid Volunteers 3). The Microfinance project was funded by the European Commission and Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Martin: During the past two years at SPI, I have implemented several projects. What is different about this one is that we, the EU Aid Volunteers, could propose and implement our ideas. After careful observation, we understood that the most urgent need at that moment was to promote the summer collection of SPI’s Women’s Social Enterprise (WSE) and enhance the marketing and project monitoring capacity of the WSE’s team. We thought, this way, the WSE would reinforce its position in the market and attract more brand ambassadors, ensuring the financial sustainability of the social enterprise and its growth towards self-sufficiency.
More than 40 refugee women artisans are involved the activities of SPI’s Women’s Social Enterprise.
The project started with training focused on marketing tools and methods to create a compelling visual campaign. The training was facilitated by Lucia, who has worked in the Communications and Fundraising Department. Among her tasks, she has been focusing on managing social media, creating written and visual content, updating the website, and creating graphic design.
Equally important was that we introduced the project management cycle and project monitoring and evaluation principles to the WSE’s team. I facilitated this training, sharing my knowledge and experience from the field. During the past two years at SPI, I have been in charge of Project and Volunteer Management, implementing humanitarian and development projects, monitoring and evaluation, process improvement, and volunteer recruitment and management. I have been directly working with volunteers who organize activities with children and beneficiaries, assessing their needs and monitoring children’s progress.
Sharing best practices and exchanging knowledge is an integral part of capacity building.
One of the project’s goals was to create new marketing materials for the WSE and promote its summer collection. For that, we organized a photo-shooting in the seaside village Ağva, near Istanbul.
The result of our mini-project is a brochure full of colorful hand-made summer products created by refugee women artisans. The brochure includes summer dresses, bags, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
We are happy to see that through the project we laid the foundation for a successful marketing strategy that can be replicated in future marketing activities and strengthened WSE’s capacity to manage and monitor projects which will prove beneficial for future projects.