The women-led non-governmental organization ‘Hands for Peace’ hosted a gala exhibition in Zugdidi to present the results of a ‘Handicraft for Social Change’ project, supported by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through the EU4Dialogue initiative.
The EU and UNDP support allowed 40 conflict-affected women to join a training program in tailoring, embroidery, knitting and macramé to develop professional careers, earn a living, improve livelihoods and increase self-reliance. Six training participants already found jobs in different local enterprises and one of the beneficiaries was successful in applying for a grant program.
“In partnership with the European Union and civil society organizations, we help conflict-affected women to become successful in business and professional careers. Better access to educational and economic opportunities empowers women and benefits the entire community,” said Mariam Begiashvili, EU4Dialogue Project Officer.
The gala event opened with a runway show, with the project beneficiaries and their children presenting clothes and accessories created during the training. Guests also visited a craft fair where project participants displayed their needlework, including various garments and knitted toys.
In addition to handicraft training, ‘Hands for Peace’ helped women to master marketing, sales and social media, as well as learn how to write business proposals and apply for grants.
Aiming to build social cohesion in a conflict-affected society, the project brought together internally displaced people and their host communities. Out of 40 training participants, 15 were displaced from the Abkhazia region, and 25 were the residents of the Khobi, Tsalenjikha and Zugdidi municipalities.
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EU4Dialogue: Support to Conflict Transformation in the South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova is a joint initiative of the EU and UNDP under the broader EU4Dialogue program. The project partners with local civil society organizations and grassroots groups to improve socio-economic conditions for people, build livelihoods, drive progress toward gender equality, promote youth engagement and support the peaceful transformation of conflict. More information on the website: https://bit.ly/3BIreEv