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Economic Development

Ödemiş Women's Cooperative

They Weave Their Future With Silk

Sabancı Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program continues in its 5th season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to social development. The sixth Changemaker of the 5th season is İzmir Ödemiş Women’s Cooperative who started the “Weave Your Future With Silk” project.

The project, supported by Sabancı Foundation Social Development Grant Program, is taking place both in Ödemiş and Birgi provinces of İzmir. The aim of the project is to revive the long-forgotten Ödemiş silk and also to provide employment opportunities for women.

The project, run by the Ödemiş Women’s Cooperative, first reached out to women, who might want to be part of it, with the help of the headmen, local NGOs, and by making house visits. After that, they provided training for volunteers, set up a weaving atelier, and then gave a start to threading. After working for 3 months, Ödemiş silk handkerchiefs and Ödemiş bed sheets were produced.

The building where the atelier was set up was assigned by the Ödemiş Municipality. The instructors were provided by the Ödemiş Public Education Center. And the final products were put up for sale in the Ödemiş Yıldız Kent Archive Museum.

With the “Weave Your Future with Silk” project, women get together and participate in social life while also getting empowered economically through the products they produce. Furthermore, they keep traditional local art alive. Women take part in every step of the project which also includes providing trainings to participants on topics such as leadership and gender equality.

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