Five Women Empowerment and Psychosocial Support (WEPS) Centers
These centers are established in Atmeh Camp, Killi, Maaret Al Salaf, Afrin, and Kobane, and positioned to offer their services to approximately 12,000 women and girls. Women are frequently marginalized in the broader society, and especially afflicted by the ongoing crisis. These centers give women a place to turn to, and seek refuge from either.
In this way, these centers offer women and girls a comprehensive list of services, including the following:
- Educational and Vocational Training:
Women are trained in a variety of skills in order to be better prepared to provide for themselves and their families. Women are trained in knitting, embroidery, and cosmetic services, and are further offered courses in literacy to help overcome the growing gender gap inside Syria. Women who attain certain skills also gain the ability to earn their own incomes, thereby empowering themselves, and helping to alleviate endemic issues of poverty within their community.
- Child Care:
While children are the joy of any mother, they can sometimes be obstacles for women and girls who would otherwise participate in the Centers’ activities. To that effect, women and girls are able to bring their children, ages six and under, to these centers, and are encouraged to do so. Maram staff cares for the children during that time, allowing their mothers to get the most out of what the center has to offer.
The center is also a safe-space for women breastfeeding their child. There are several issues related to milk-substitutes, and so offering a space to breastfeed is vital for their child’s overall health.
Psychosocial Support and Gender-based Violence Counseling:Lead by a counselor trained specifically in PSS, and how to handle issues related to GBV, each center offers women individual and group sessions on a continuous basis. The group sessions especially allow women to come together and foster both constructive dialogue and cooperation among themselves. While these sessions seek to support women and girls afflicted by crises, they have also been inspirational for Maram counselors, as group dialogues often turn to discuss ways in which women can improve their livelihood, and overcome their situation as survivors of war.