Eri Handcraft: a Project designed for Eritrean women
For hundreds of years, in the Eritrean countryside, women have been engaged in the production of household, handmade utensils, ornaments, crafts for personal and commercial use. Women are still engaged in the production of different handicrafts produced using local natural resources, such as cotton, shells, clay, tree branches, to create mats, baskets, pots, bracelets, and scarves. The Eri Handcraft project is in the process of establishment by the Ministry of Labor and Welfare (MLSW) to upgrade the traditional Eritrean Crafts, training women in tailoring, basketry, and weaving, to provide a wide range of services inside and abroad that caters to the know-how of rural women in Eritrea.
Debat Training Center, established in 1992 under the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, was set to provide a wide range of services for the needs of all Eritrean women, especially for the neediest rural communities. With the Eri Handcraft project, the Center will become the place to carry out most of the training and mobilization activities in the central area of Asmara and within Zoba Maekel.
The Smile Project will serve to upgrade the Training Center to cater to the multipurpose initiative, provide trainee women with a daycare center for their children, provide equipment (such as sewing machines, mannequins, fabrics, buttons, beads, etc.) and make the Center more comfortable. The mission of the project is to make Debat Training Center the largest design craft business developer in Eritrea, providing various technical support services and finding a way of income generation for Eritrean women, having opening national and international markets integrated with the technology of today.
The Center will also serve as a formal and informal meeting place for women of all ages and fields of interest to meet and have discussions on political and economic situations in the country. There is currently a lack of places for women to meet with other groups of women, a place where they can go outside of the family home and talk about their problems, interests, or plans.
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