Among the many benefits offered by the “favour exchange bank” of the project “Famílies”, the mothers’ manual skills have to be highlighted, and their committment to always be ready to share their abilities in exchange for another helpful service to their families‘ household. Their desire to participate, integrate themselves, collaborate and engage in a joint activity motivated us to design a project that would give continuity to the recognition and value of the invisible work of these women.

This is how the “Wool-Workshop” emerged.

The objective of the Workshop is to emphasize the talents and skills of the participants by means of the hand-woven garments.  They perform this manual work in a common space of encounter, participation and formation in which their mutual recognition, autonomy and self-esteem is promoted.

The woven garments are primarily intended for family use, but also for a small-scale distribution at “charity markets“. They are made of environmentally friendly natural materials and include a handmade recycled-paper label made by PA PÉ at the Occupational Insertion Service of acidH.

On the paper labels, we use the Anna beta font, designed by Anna Vives, a young woman with Down syndrome, who shows us how to vindicate your abilities and lead a self-determined life.

By this, the essential role of these women is certified, opening the way for other projects and interesting initiatives.

We have collaborated with the children’s clothing stores Winzig and Babybox in Berlin, making their hand-woven children’s clothes and, currently, we collaborate with the Association “Cosiendo el paro“ that sells their clothes in the store “Zapatelas” in Madrid, thus having a space for the solidarity sale of the pieces made in the workshop.

The desire to learn and the incentive to be able to sell garments in several stores has motivated them to surpass themselves, achieving a final product with a high degree of exigency. We have seen a considerable improvement in their cross-cutting skills such as teamwork, mutual help, empathy and language domination. Very positive is the visible increase of their self-esteem enhanced by the elaboration of garments with a much appreciated quality.

Their satisfaction with a gratifying occupation and their sense of belonging and commitment to the project, incites us to seek ways to escape the risk of exclusion of these migrant women with usually limited access to the labour market.

We want to support them in their search for a stable job opportunity. Therefore, we are looking for a greater diffusion of the project and to increase the number of sales in fair trade shops, as well as networks and portals of the third (non-profit) sector.