The EWCC responds to the needs of Eritrean women in real time. Because 2016 saw a dramatic increase in single motherhood, we are finding more and more women coming to the center because of financial struggles. The women who approached us for individual services, the women who attended our support groups, and the women who frequented our traditional coffee ceremonies and other social events all pointed to one thing – they needed a way earn money that fit their unique needs.
As single mothers who cannot afford childcare, require flexible hours and desperately need the added financial benefit of a job which requires skilled training, the resulting answer came directly from the community: vocational cosmetology training. In late 2016, we therefore began a new course providing skilled hair and beauty training from a local salon owner, combined with finance and small business training from an Eritrean community member who has been studying advanced business at IDC.
To ensure these women have the opportunity to use these newly acquired skills, we aim to build connections with local Eritrean-owned hair salons to help graduates of the program find job placements. This way, we can truly give these single mothers the tools they need to achieve financial independence.
This groundbreaking vocational training course designed specifically for asylum seeking women proved to be an astounding success, with over 20 women attending the course.
Women who want additional help may come early to receive individualized attention before class.