The Eritrean Women's Community Center in Tel Aviv is an initiative designed and run independently by a group of Eritrean refugee women. Established in November 2011, the center aims to provide Eritrean women with a safe space as well as access to important services. This center is the first and only one of its kind, utilizing a grass roots approach to support and em Eritrean women in a fundamental way. Representing a safe space, the Center stands as a community fixture recognized as the location women can turn to in order to access information, services and support.
WHAT'S NEW AT THE EWCC ?
Deposit Law Return Forms
In May 2017, Israel implemented a devastating which deducts 20% from the salary of every Eritrean worker in Israel, and another 16% from employers, on top of pre-existing taxes. This policy has worsened problems within the Eritrean community, increasing rates of prostitution and domestic violence.
Lobbying from the EWCC was successful in decreasing the deposit from 20% to 6% for women and other vulnerable groups. During daily reception hours (16:30-20:00), trained volunteers assist women in filling out the necessary forms to receive their previous deposits.
Beauty and Business Class Success!
The center regularly hosts the first ever vocational training in Israel designed specifically for vulnerable asylum seeking Eritrean women. In the class, students learn traditional Eritrean hairdressing techniques as well as Western-style hairdressing, paired with business skills. In 2018, we had 40 women graduate from the class; one student even opened her own salon, which she is using to support and train new students. We could not be more proud of these dedicated, passionate and resilient women!
Social Worker Reception Hours
In December of 2018, the EWCC began hosting a local social worker to help the women work through issues related to the trauma present in the asylum-seeking community. The social worker is available every Wednesday from 17:00-20:00 to speak with women and connect them to appropriate resources.