The work was taken to a higher stage to establish a cooperative planned under the project “Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls” being implemented in Gaziantep jointly by UN Women, ILO and ASAM. The application to establish the entity named “SADA Women’s Cooperative” was filed on 18 March 2019 with Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of Customs and Trade.
With preparatory work initiated in September 2018 for establishing a women’s cooperative, informative seminars on social cooperatives were organised for more than 300 women of Turkish, Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan nationalities who received courses on basic life skills and vocational training at SADA Women Development and Solidarity Centre. At the end of seminars and training delivered with support from the Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (KEDV), 49 women as candidate founders for the cooperative were provided capacity development training on procedures for establishing women’s cooperatives, cooperative principles and areas of production.
The title of the cooperative was decided on 15 March 2019 as “SADA Women’s Cooperative” by the motions and votes of 49 women in total, who assumed roles in establishing the cooperative, including 37 Syrians, 11 Turks, and 1 Afghan from the workshops on shoe-upping, textiles and packaging, as well as participants of the training courses on Turkish language, computer operating, basic make-up and hair-dressing, and from the Tomorrow’s Women Committee. At the meeting of 18 March 2019, the co-founders of the cooperative were elected unanimously. Accordingly, 14 women including 7 Turks, 6 Syrians and 1 Afghan, became the founders of SADA Women’s Cooperative.
With official procedures for establishment initiated, SADA Women’s Cooperative will set a special example of social cooperativism by bringing together Turkish, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan and Iranian women, offering opportunities of economic empowerment to disadvantaged groups, and creating overall public good. Aiming to engage in production of shoe-upping, textiles and packaging products and local food products, SADA Women’s Cooperative will commence activities upon the completion of establishment procedures as well as designs and marketing plans.