Tahaddi is an Arabic word meaning ‘challenge’ – at Tahaddi the entire mission is to challenge poverty and to respond to the challenges that poverty creates for so many in their local community.
As a long-standing Embrace partner, we have often been able to bring you news of the many healthcare, psychological and education initiatives that Tahaddi are using to bring lasting change for the people of Lebanon. However, you may not have heard about the entrepreneurial aspect of their work, the Sewing Atelier. An Atelier, a French term, is defined as ‘a workshop or studio in which an artist produces their work’. At the Tahaddi Sewing Atelier, 25 local women work as trained seamstresses, producing beautiful merchandise such as bags, aprons, oven gloves, blankets, pencil cases and accessory pouches. These are sold at local markets like Souk el Tayeb but also supplied more widely to businesses, NGOs and hospitals.
The revenue generated provides a modest income for the ladies who work at the Atelier and their families, but more than that, the Atelier is a supportive community, where women find friendship, solidarity, understanding, encouragement, empowerment, affirmation, self-worth and the hope and strength to invest in their futures despite the incredibly challenging circumstances in which they live.
Though the ladies of the Atelier battle economic hardship themselves, they also take great joy in opportunities to be able to support others living in challenging situations. One of their greatest achievements in 2020, during the global pandemic, was supplying over 4000 blankets to Syrian refugees in the Bekaah Valley and around 20000 reusable facemasks to the people of Lebanon.
Flicking through Tahaddi’s latest catalogue of exquisite textile products, I find the encouragement to,
‘Be part of the change: Find the perfect item for you or a loved one, and contribute to the livelihoods of many families while empowering them to continue their craft.’
This summer you can treat yourself or a loved one to a range of unique, textile products from Tahaddi, handcrafted exclusively for Embrace: