Women Weaving a Dream
The integration of previously unemployed women from Arab Bedouin society in the Negev to the workforce is a major challenge. One approach is to integrate traditional social skills with business skills. The program Women Weaving a Dream takes place in the Bedouin city of Rahat with collaboration between the Rahat’s Department of Social Services and AJEEC-NISPED. The program focuses on the empowerment of women who live in poverty and helps prepare them to be integrated into the workforce as salaried employees or as entrepreneurs.
Some 120 women participate in our year-long empowerment program through communal frameworks held in the homes of the participants. During the year, the women learn about different business-related subjects, participate in site visits, engage in the community and more.
At the end of this year, the women join vocational training programs to help integrate them into the workforce. Programs include: cosmetics, sewing, baking and cheese production. In addition, more women are integrated into these training programs through the Rayan Center for the Promotion of Employment in the Arab Society in the Negev.
We are presently negotiating the establishment of a bakery and coffee shop that would employ program alumnae, making it the first venture of its kind in the Bedouin city of Rahat.