Sozan, refugee soapmaker (Photo: Esther Havens)
A few months ago, Sozan had nothing. She lost everything, including her young daughter, to the violence and chaos of ISIS overtaking her hometown. Her family needed medical care, but they didn’t have enough money to pay for it.
The first time we showed up in their displacement camp, she asked us for money to pay for a doctor’s visit and medicine. We did. But we also gave her a sustainable way to provide for herself and her family.
Soapmaking is an ancient practice and art form in Iraq and Syria. The women involved in our Sisterhood Soap program are now supporting themselves and their families while reviving their own cultural tradition. This not only provides for their financial needs, but also provides a way for them to step back into their own identity.
The women in our program, like Sozan, are more than refugees. They are more than their past moments of desperation or the sum total of their traumatic experiences.
Sisterhood Soap is an avenue for displaced women to step out of the chaos they’ve experienced, and step back into the wholeness of who they are.
As a collective, Sisterhood Soap provides a sense of belonging and togetherness. It allows women to recapture their sense of self and strengthen the meaningful relationships they have with one another. Working with their hands to produce something beautiful can help them through the healing process, as they recover from the violence they’ve witnessed or experienced.
The income soap provides is enough to support a displaced family and meet their physical needs. They are no longer hungry or dependant on aid deliveries. And they no longer need money for medical care.
During our most recent visit to her camp, Sozan reminded us of how far they’ve come. “Because of you”, she said, “we can go to the doctor and buy our medicine without having to ask for money”.
Because of your support for Sisterhood Soap, where there was once chaos and desperation, there is now independence, provision, and a renewed sense of self.
Every purchase of Sisterhood Soap helps women like Sozan rebuild their lives in a sustainable and life-giving way.
Please support their journey towards a new and better life by purchasing Sisterhood Soaps for yourself, giving them away for Christmas, and helping us spread the word about these beautifully empowering products.
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