Women’s Skill Development Program

As women and their families rebuild their lives in Istanbul after losing their homes and sense of identity, it is critical to their wellbeing and family success that they are given outlets to reach their full potential. Some have now become heads of their households, upheaving cultural norms in which men are the sole breadwinners.

At Small Projects Istanbul we cultivate transferable skills that women can use as they develop personally and professionally through workshops, seminars and our productive community space where women learn from one another.
We provide workshops on learning to make handicraft, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and small business management for women who want to take part.

Community and information sharing are at the core of our Women’s Skills Development Training Program, we encourage the use of Turkish language so women can gain assuredness in the language of their new city. Encouraging self-determination, attorneys and medical professionals visit the center to answer questions on their rights and navigating new systems. If community members do not feel safe, included, and integrated, individuals struggle to contribute to our growing collective.

These skills are put into practice in the daily work of our craft collective as they take greater responsibility for all aspects of running a small business. On-site childcare services make their ongoing participation possible.
Our workshop space supports the lively endeavors of the Olive Tree Craft Collective as they develop several product lines focused on women’s fashion. Through the help of trainers and each others’ support, they build upon handicraft skills and utilize a range of equipment while customizing textiles, crocheting, embroidery, and jewelry making.

The Olive Tree Craft Collective provides participating women with employment opportunity and financial inclusion outside of the traditional workplace where they can feel safe and encouraged to grow.

The Olive Tree Women’s Craft Collective

Palmyra Designs

PALMYRA DESIGNS, A COHORT FORMED IN SUMMER 2016, WAS DREAMT UP BY THE COLLECTIVE OUT OF THE DESIRE TO CONNECT THEIR HANDICRAFT WORK TO THEIR HOMELAND.

Inspired by the ancient oasis and Aramaic city of Palmyra, our line of embroidered bags and wears, Palmyra Designs was born.
Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that were one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.
The women pay homage to the city’s architectural fusion in their designs with the motivation to keep its heritage alive. The women create daily wearable– purses, cosmetic bags, brooches, and more, that use embroidery techniques to highlight mosaic, tile, and painting styles from the region.
Order from Palmyra Designs at http://designersunited.org/en/projects-palmyra-design.html

Blooms of Tomorrow

BLOOMS OF TOMORROW IS A SCREEN PRINTING SERVICE PROVIDED BY MEMBERS FROM OUR COLLECTIVE TRAINED IN THE SKILL

This small collective converts university, business, and other partner logos into images that can be printed on tote bags or t-shirts.
Blooms of Tomorrow have customized bags and t-shirts for Koç University, Princeton University, the US Consulate in Istanbul and the band Country for Syria.
We are happy to work with corporate or university groups to produce tote bags for conferences or events.
Contact us at info@smallprojectsistanbul.org for an order form.

Drop Earrings Not Bombs

DROP EARRINGS NOT BOMBS EARRINGS ARE HAND-WOVEN EXPRESSION STATEMENTS

Each pair of earrings is a unique display of creativity and design, a story told through the eyes of a person who has been through more than any one person should experience.
The project creates a space for color therapy, community building, and artistic expression.
Bold in their impact, the earrings are conversation pieces, giving the wearer the opportunity to share our work and importance for action on behalf of Syria’s internal and displaced population.
Find out more at http://www.dropearringsnotbombs.org