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Weaving Lives (Turkey)

Ensure that women are equipped with the vocational skills and tools necessary to secure stable employment (particularly in the fields of health, education, and agriculture, also including appropriate clothing and microfinance)

Weaving project by SI Çankaya (Turkey)

Women and girls from Mardin, a city located in the Southeastern Turkey, attend local courses where they learn weaving carpets. The trainers are employed by the Public Education Center, one of the supporting partners of the project.  After the workshops, the participants begin to produce Hereke carpets and others with special designs. This project is an efficient way of empowering women and girls in Mardin by means of education which turns them into leaders in their own social sphere.

While the handcraft of traditional carpet weaving dating back to 11th century is being revived, the opportunity to earn an income has been created for local women most importantly.

The workshops are held twice each year. Weaving Hereke carpets, a special type of design which was used to be produced for Ottoman palaces in the past, is the scope of the training. After the instruction sessions in the workshops, trainees begin manufacturing. A sustainable marketing network and strategy has been created so that the carpets are usually sold before manufacturing. San Diego Soroptimist Club imports some of these handmade carpets each year.

Club: SI Etiler,  Friendship Clubs: SI Mardin & SI San Diego, PFR: 27118


  • Preserving traditional crafts is a one of the working areas of UNESCO and plays an important role in culture and society, particularly for women.  Projects like these encapsulate SI’s rich cultural history in a modern day context.
  • Bringing in experts ensures that the training is appropriate and of the best possible quality.
  • By also creating a sustainable marketing network for selling the goods, the members have ensured that the project meets its goal of creating income generating activities.  It’s very exciting to read that Soroptimists in California regularly purchase these carpets!

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