The Eritrean Women's Community Center, located in South Tel Aviv, is in the heart of the neighborhood where many Eritrean asylum seekers live. The location is integral to providing access to those aiming to utilize the services provided by the center. The community center has become a symbol for the women who associate it with a sense of safety. The center is a place where they can feel comfortable, accepted and in control of their lives. The freedom from authoritative figures combined with the services provided and activities mandated allow for the center to be recognized by the community as a place where women can come at any time for any need.
The Women's Center was initially conceived by Zebib Sultan and a few other women from the community, upon completing a human rights course through Amnesty International Israel. Working alongside existing organizations in Israel and abroad, the Center was able to acquire the physical space and support necessary to open its doors in June 2012.
The center is currently headed by our director Helen Kidane, an Eritrean asylum seeker, community activist and mother. Helen is a key player in the work of the center and various community efforts. In collaboration with fellow Eritrean community leaders, as well as local and international NGOs, she is integral to designing and locating the necessary programs, initiatives, volunteers, workers, health services and much more for the community.
This short video explains the job and efforts of the Center and the essential work being done here. To learn more about how to support us, click here.
The Center offers various programs self-led by Eritrean women. The community has identified four main umbrellas as the key topics of interest.
The first is Women's Vocational Training. This includes specific crafts such as hairdressing, and also general knowledge surrounding finances and budgeting.
The second umbrella is the Healthy Families Program, and this program looks to examine the family structure and how the traditional familial practices have been lost and ways in which the community can work to rebuild them. Activities under this category include both emotional and physical health.
The third program, entitled the Women's Enrichment Program, is a collective of different activities aiming to fulfill aspects of the lives of women that may fall by the wayside due to various commitments and obligations.
The final programming category is Individual Support, where we provide one-on-one case management and referrals when more intensive help is required.