Updated: Apr 1, 2021
Throughout 2018, I started to work directly within a Greek-organized camp in Sounio to develop a sewing program, and by January 2019, we took a step of faith by opening our own space for refugee women (and even a few men) to learn skills in weaving and sewing, with high hopes that after this training, the job market would be wide open to them. We were able to find a space in the town of Lavrio near HomeSpot Center, another refugee day center run by one of our one of our partners, and we chose the name HomeSpot Lab. We were so excited not only to have this space, but also to watch as it grew to become a training space with…looms, fabric, yarn and more!
From the start, it was amazing to watch the progress made by both the leadership and the students at HomeSpot Lab, but what was most exciting were the relationships that were beginning to be built and the opportunities.
In this space we have had one-on-one conversations about life and faith. Women were forming friendships that extended outside the walls of the Lab, and eventually many of the women were bringing their entire families to a bi-weekly Arabic time of talking through issues of life and exploring faith and all at HomeSpot Center.
Specifically, in our Arabic times of fellowship and sharing, we have seen at least 15 adults come through in the last year with several attending consistently. Our study has included a 13-week video-based program called Al Masira (The Journey). We are so thankful that we have been able to help sew these seeds of love, hope and faith in their hearts and we were encouraged to see three couples finis the course in its entirety.
With a grasp of the Arabic language and tools at her disposal for reaching our and engaging in meaningful conversation Cecilia has worked tirelessly each week to balance both the training and the relationship building. After waiting for a while, it began to become apparent that the dream of jobs opening up within the textile industry was not going to move as quickly as we hoped. After some time to focus and pray through what the future would hold for this endeavor, we felt led toward creating our own company to help provide jobs and salaries for the women we were training…and so the idea for Creative Hands was born.