Kuchinate – African Refugee Womens Collective
Address: Sderot Har Tsiyon 104, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
These talented women support themselves by making beautiful and affordable bright rugs and baskets and hold workshops teaching how to make them. Kuchinate is a collective of African asylum seeking women living in Tel Aviv Israel. The aim of the collective is to produce environmentally friendly beautifully designed and executed products for your pleasure and use. Our products at present are crocheted baskets, poufs and carpets from tee shirt material remnants. We also crochet kippot for events.
This collective was born in the Community Therapeutic service at the ARDC (African Refugee Development Center).( www.ardc-israel.org) We wanted to find a way for women to become empowered, to recuperate, and to regain their dignity. Many have experienced hardship, violence and trauma The aim was psychological, social and economic up liftment. With the help of Funding from the EU, Diddy began to collaborate with South African artist ,Natasha Miller Guttman who began to help us realize that through art, creativity and commitment, there was a way out of poverty and despair. ( www.telavivartstudio.com) Today we are a collective of over 40 women, and growing all the time… We have had the good fortune to collaborate with Puah from Ma’asiya in Jaffa who set us up with the amazing basket designer Nirit. Puah showed us that anything was possible and Nirit trained us to crochet beautiful baskets. We have not stopped since…We are now also creating carpets, poufs and more. We are constantly learning, expanding and growing and looking for new creative partnerships in order to expand our product base. We are supported and empowered to expand by the wonderful Micro Business and Economic Justice Clinic at Tel Aviv University. We have the good fortune of being supported by two business and law students Noam Kirsh and Shai Bracha, and their talented and committed supervisors, business consultant Anat Kliger and attorney Galia Feit. We have created a new NGO for the project called ARTS, where we have a dedicated and active group of members.
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