We support the economic empowerment of women who lost their jobs after the earthquake in Hatay. We support women who want to re-establish the businesses they lost after the earthquake or who want to develop the businesses they have established with their own efforts, by providing them with the most basic tools and materials they need to generate income. Within the scope of the “Let Women Build Their Business” project supported by the Fondation de France, 50 women are benefiting from these activities.
Women regain their jobs.
The women included in the project were interviewed during November-December and the essential tools and materials were identified for them to establish and sustain their businesses. The most basic materials such as sewing machines for tailors and fertilisers for those engaged in agriculture were determined. As of November, we started to provide material support to the women whose needs were identified. In addition to the 50 women selected within the scope of the project, 12 more women were supported by ACTED. The materials needed by the women are also purchased from Hatay to support the economic recovery of the region after the earthquake.
She established her dream boutique business.
Nesrin Hanım, who makes a living by selling clothes from home, dreamed of opening a boutique business. We supported Mrs Nesrin by making store shelves and trial cabinets, which are the most basic needs for her to establish and maintain her business.
Nesrin Hanım, whose dream was realised, shared her happiness as follows: “I am very happy that you provided such support. I was very happy when I learnt that I was included in the project, I am very happy that I can open and maintain my boutique business, which is my dream. Before my boutique business, I was doing gardening work and it was exhausting me. My dream was to quit gardening and with your support, I started to do this work at home and now I started to do it by opening a business. Without your support, I would have applied for a loan and my loan payments would have been very difficult for me in the period after the earthquake.”
She got the materials she could not get out of the rubble
Thereupon, Selma Hanım started to give private lessons by going to the homes of her students. We supported Mrs Selma by providing her with basic tools and materials such as easels, coffee tables, stools, paints, brushes, canvases, etc. that she could not remove from the rubble.
Mrs Selma expressed her happiness as follows: “Your support seemed very strange at first. I was hesitant to ask for something at first, it was a situation I was not used to. Before the earthquake, I was meeting my needs myself, I was used to buying everything myself. Your support was very good in this period. I would like to thank you very much for your interest and concern, and for guiding me. Health to your efforts, you are instrumental in very good works.”
“We were able to touch something”
The application evaluation meeting of the project was held in the first week of November. The evaluation members who attended the meeting also shared their feelings at the end of the meeting. Hatay Mustafa Kemal University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences Faculty Member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sonyel Oflazoğlu Dora: “It was a very meticulous work. Selection criteria were determined one by one, fieldwork was carried out, interviews were conducted, needs were identified… It is a very valuable thing. Especially women in both rural and urban areas were reached. Of course, I expect the continuation of this. After a long time, we were very happy to be able to touch something, to feel that we had a benefit. I thank you again.”
“We will look further.”
Nidal Özdemir, President of Hatay Producing Hands Women’s Cooperative: “This is a very valuable work you have done. You have done a great job in terms of women’s participation in economic life. Because as the people of this region, we were psychologically disturbed and we could have been a little delayed in standing up, but thanks to such social projects, thanks to valuable organisations like you, this standing up will accelerate and we will move forward by looking further. As a woman entrepreneur, I thank you very much.”
After providing material support to all women involved in the project, information meetings will be held with women in February and March to help them develop their businesses in areas such as communication, social media, waste management, sales, and cooperatives. A women’s products festival will be organised in April.