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H E A L I N G  H A N D S


Overall Project Objective

To create opportunities of empowerment and productive activity through incubating social enterprises leading towards the integration of women with refugee and/or humanitarian status in Maltese society.

Project Description

Most refugees and persons with humanitarian status struggle to rebuild their lives, become economically self-sufficient and gain a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, women, more than men, tend to find the process of social, cultural and economic integration especially challenging. There are some cultures which object to women working in gender-mixed environments or outside their own community. Therefore, female refugees tend to suffer from isolation as well as a lack of familiarity with the host society - facing various socio-cultural and linguistic barriers.

The proposed pilot project aims to introduce the concept of  supported services towards the development of a social enterprise as a means of empowering  migrant women with refugee and/or humanitarian status. The pilot project shall include training and mentoring components, as well as support the women in establishing a new social enterprise.

The social enterprise will provide the platform for the women's cultural expression through arts and handmade crafts. The idea is to encourage migrant women to apply their traditional and non-traditional skills within a proactive and income-generating context which is inclusive, flexible and creative. Such activities will contribute to the women's transition to life in Malta and facilitate their integration into Maltese society. By engaging the women in a social enterprise, they will be encouraged to work as a team, to learn more about Maltese society and ethics, and to promote the women's creativity among the Maltese people. The project will provide an opportunity for Maltese citizens to appreciate the skills, which migrant women bring to their society.  

The aim of the training programme is to foster creativity, innovation, team building and co-operation and has three modules, English Language skills, Business Entrepreneurship skills and crafts.  The innovative character of the project attempts to achieve the involvement of migrant women in all aspects of the project especially in crafts.  This project is co-financed by the European Refugee Fund III 2008 Programme of the European Union in collaboration with AWAS.