Women-Led Community Soup kitchen:
Organized by the shams network team, these kitchens are run by refugee women throughout the month of Ramadan. So far we have completed two kitchens (2017 & 2018) and they were a great success. The kitchens are inside the refugee camps; women are given specific titles & duties. Other than the financial compensation, thee women's morals are lifted, through the act of ownership & leadership. I have witnessed heartwarming changes in their behaviors, their self confidence and self-esteem.
Another main activity is the Series of wellness sessions:
Where Syrian and Palestinian women attend focus groups led by gynecologists and female health experts. They also receive yoga training to alleviate the physical burdens of displacement, risky pregnancies and hard labor.
The socioeconomic aspect of HEYA:
This aspect of Heya depends on our social business work as a social enterprise. We connect Syrian and Palestinian refugee women with learning opportunities such as training and coaching sessions on specific money-generating activities such as embroidery, up cycling, food preservation and creative handmade artisanal work.
Each woman is free to choose the craft she desires. Then through our creative team, we design and promote the products through Heartmade.
Girls and women make up nearly half of any forcibly displaced population — therefore, meeting their needs should never be an afterthought.
In Lebanon, Syrian and Palestinian refugee girls and women are increasingly seen as nameless victims, they lack basic access to safe shelter, food, health care, and psychosocial support. Most importantly, refugee women from my community are facing GBV due to several factors such as financial dependency, illiteracy and self-esteem.
Heya, "her" in Arabic, is an ongoing holistic women-centered program which empowers refugee women through illiteracy/education, wellbeing & psychosocial support and socioeconomic opportunities.
Heya is not geographically centered. We work with vulnerable displaced women (mainly Syrian and Palestinian) all over Lebanon, inside Syria and occasionally online.
Heya is based on the establishment of time-limited safe spaces and/or initiatives within refugee communities, these spaces are run by the beneficiary women themselves.
Heya has given many refugee widows, elderly and displaced women a chance to learn something new, generate income, lead a team and shift their status quo from a dependent to an active agent in their communities.