SisterWorks is a non-profit social enterprise empowering migrant, asylum seeker and refugee women to become financially independent.
By providing these women, who are long-term unemployed, with the opportunity to create and sell handmade products SisterWorks is enabling them to break down cultural and language barriers, gain independence, and break cycles of disadvantage including violence and welfare.
Funds raised: $30,000
Luz pitched at TFN Melbourne and shared her story of being a migrant to Australia, and shared the difficulty she faced trying to find her voice when she was still learning English. Sisterworks were seeking funding to develop a basic skills training program for a critical sub-group of migrant women who have been in Australia for over five years, but don’t have the necessary skills to work outside of the home.
SisterWorks believes that when you empower mums, you empower families, and when that happens you empower the future of Australia. Finding a suitable job can be difficult enough without having limited English and few connections. So SisterWorks was formed to create a place for women in the same situation to come together and create their opportunities. At TFN Live they were looking for a hand up, not a hand out.
The money they received on the night went towards running a cooking program for 19 of their women entrepreneurs. They spent time with a professional chef and have developed several food products which they are now selling at select supermarkets in Melbourne.
“Sanna (Iranian) came to Australia 4.5 years ago. She used to be an art teacher in her home country. She spent 1.5 years in detention centre, suffered from Strong Anxiety when released to the community. With her anxiety and fear, Sanna had trouble integrating to the community, she locked herself at home and just saw herself as supporting person for her family.
Sanna got introduced to SisterWorks by her caseworker on 13 July 2018. Despite being in a country for few years her english was very limited that a phone translation service was needed in the first encounter. With her love of Art and Cooking, Sanna joined SisterWorks Cooking training program, she completed the full training and joined the production team. She started to feel that she 'belong' to a community. She started to earn some income from her cooking. She started to look forward to monday when the cooking production takes place.
Apart from cooking, Sanna also joined craft program, involved in the making of SisterWorks Craft Label products. Sanna's proud moment (also SisterWorks' proud moment) is when after 5 months with SisterWorks, she spoke at the front of a hundred audience at SisterWorks' Fundraising Night, of her story, her experience, without hesitation, with no fear. In her speech 'SisterWorks is the first place she ever feels safe since she arrived'
Sanna is still with SisterWorks. Due to her stomach operation earlier this year, she can't join the production cooking anymore, and to keep her busy at home whilst recovering, Sanna is crocheting SisterWorks Hemp Scrubbies and clothes from home, this keeps her entertained as well as allowing her to earn some income. She's getting better and starts to join some craft activities. She's looking forward to her full recovery so she can be fully active at SisterWorks” Ifrin Fittock, General Manager