About the initiative
(amal), the Arabic word meaning hope, is an income generation project that supports the livelihoods of Syrian families living in Izmir, Turkey. As a result of the Syrian Civil War, over 90 thousand Syrians are estimated to be living just in Izmir alone without a chance to return home to bordering Syria nor move onto other countries. These individuals are often left without employment options, adequate living facilities and at times find themselves working in harsh labour conditions and/or in debt bondage.
The Mission of this initiative is simple: provide an opportunity for Syrian families living in Turkey to support themselves by helping them sell their handmade work to the global market. Volunteers work directly alongside these talented mothers to design products that you may enjoy. The income helps to pay for rent, food as well as other necessities. As a result of lightening the financial burden on the family, children can go to school rather than having to work - just another benefit of this initiative.
Utilizing existing skills in knitting, crocheting and jewelry-making, these mothers can work from home and on their own time. While it may be hard to believe, just the income from 3 blankets can easily pay for 1 month's rent! Named by the knitting mothers themselves, 'amal' is an initiative that reaches far beyond the mother who creates these adorable products, it helps to support the family unit. 'Amal' is about inclusion, diversity and independence. Mothers from both Kurdish and Arabic backgrounds alike are a part of this project, another beautiful aspect.
Products are only produced with high quality materials. We source 100% pure wool and cotton from suppliers in Turkey and strive to get consistent colors that fit in with any color palet. Every single product is handmade by mothers in their homes. Anything made by hand can sometimes have imperfections - please forgive these as the mothers are really trying to give you their best work. Home conditions aren't the best sometimes, lighting and heating for example, they work with what they have. Some products take over 26 hours to complete and we take that seriously. As such, we hope that you not only enjoy them but also treat them with care.