In Siirt, 71 per cent of the people in rural areas received income from agriculture and livestock, whereas handicrafts were the main source of income for many families in the city. Handicrafts were especially important for young girls who were not forced to be married at young age when they get a job and start providing income for their families. However, with the closure of Sumer Halı Factory, which provided a significant rate of employment in Siirt city, 3500 weavers became unemployed in the Southeast Region.
Gelder saw that it could develop new job opportunities especially for young girls by repairing the carpet looms left from Sumer Halı that had been closed in Siirt.
Training of 80 young girls, who had no job opportunities after the closure of Sumer Halı in Siirt, on carpet weaving in order to increase their employability and thus meet the market's need of qualified personnel.
To make young girls stronger both in their family and also society by increasing their employment.
Project's Details and Results
Gelder took part in the project with the support of the Ministry of Development's Social Support Program in 2010. A workshop was established through cooperation with the Ministry of National Education Siirt Public Education Center and Evening Art School. In this workshop, 10 weaving looms were purchased within the scope of the project, and the last 10 blanket masters in Siirt were hired for 12 months to run the workshop. In this way, the craftsmen felt financially secure while they were allowed to produce pure mohair blankets. In addition, approximately 50 women spun threads in Siirt's neighborhoods to be used in the production of blankets. The blankets that were produced within the project were sold to all over Turkey through a newly made website. The public institutions in Siirt were also encouraged to prefer pure mohair blankets when giving presents.The project was carried out in 2011 with the support of the Ministry of Development's Social Support Program. Gelder cooperated with the Ministry of National Education Siirt Public Education Center and the Evening Art School and also with the private sector. With the closure of Sumer Halı Factory, 3 carpet workshops in Ulus, Evren and Çal neighbourhoods in Siirt downtown were restored and carpet weaving courses were started in these workshops. In this context, 6 master trainers, 1 full-time administrative support staff and 1 part-time field staff were recruited. To be used in the carpets free threads were provided by the private sector. In order to guarantee the participation of girls in the courses, their parents were given a monthly allowance of 150 TL.
Within the scope of the project, 65 young girls were trained on carpet weaving. In this way, the statutes of the girls in their families have been strengthened. Upon the success of the system, Siirt Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation undertook the sustainability of the existing workshops after the project. In addition, 380 young girls were provided with additional income through carpet weaving through the opening of the new workshops in other areas.
After the families started to work as seasonal workers in the summer, girls started to work at apparel stores, the textile workshops opened in the summer and nursery processing plants started to export walnuts, the number of trainees attending the courses has decreased.
After an announcement that a carpet company would open a factory in Siirt, the Siirt Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation closed the carpet workshops so that this new company could employ the girls who had been trained in the project. However this factory has never been opened. The fact that the foundation closed the workshops before the job started caused the girls to go back to other jobs.