Good People Doing Good Things:
Meet Dana Kandalaft
ASthe world is changing quickly around us, we can sometimes forget that there are still conflicts and violence that is displacing the world's most vulnerable.
In our new ongoing blog series called Good People Doing Good Things, we want to share some of the projects, brands and people that are changing lives through their work.
Dana Kandalaft and the team at Tight Knit Syria are people that we are proud to talk about and support. They are truly good people doing good things...
A world with less barriers and more bridges to hope.
Tight Knit Syria is a Canadian based charity that launched in 2013 after Dana Kandalaft visited a camp for internally displaced persons in Northern Syria. She was seeking to understand the Syrian humanitarian crisis firsthand and meet the people impacted.
That day, an unexpected frenzy was sparked among a group of girls when one girl, named Sebra, pointed out Dana’s rainbow-coloured knitted purse and yelled, “Souf! Souf!” (meaning yarn).
Since Dana was unfamiliar with this Arabic word, Sebra brought Dana to her tent and showed her a purple knitted dress with a crocheted flower. She had made the dress using donated yarn with the help of her mother and grandmother.
This was when Dana had a lightbulb moment: What if she could collect donated yarn from home in Canada and try to sell the women’s products in her community?
Inspired, she launched a plan for Tight Knit Syria that very night.
" Most of the women in the Tight Knit Syria collectives had to leave their belongings behind when they escaped the war in Syria. They brought with them the knowledge of traditional skillsets like embroidery, crocheting, and knitting—passed on from their mothers and grandmothers—which they now use to earn a living with Tight Knit Syria. Our mission is to help restore livelihoods for women in refugee camps through leveraging their existing skill sets in knitting and embroidery and connecting their beautiful handmade accessories to the world."
Tight Knit Syria helps to break down economic barriers to women in refugee camps by collaborating closely with artisans to introduce their handmade accessories to consumers and business partners around the world.
Our main focus right now is ensuring the safety of our artisans in Lebanon and Northern Syria. We even started a fundraiser to distribute $200 USD to 10 refugee families to help off-set their expenses in these difficult times.
Unlike Canada and many other countries in the world, refugees in Lebanon are not receiving any government or humanitarian support amidst COVID-19.
The women are located in a densely populated refugee camp in Beirut and are now isolating themselves in their tiny apartments. Without their regular income from working with Tight Knit Syria, it’s nearly impossible to cover the high costs of rent, food, electricity, phone connection, medication, and other daily necessities.
We are also excited to be continuing with our educational program which has been transferred to online classes as opposed to in-person rooms. Some of our original plans for 2020 have had to change, but we’re adapting, and staying connected with our communities, and taking it day by day.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TIGHT KNIT SYRIA'S FUNDRAISER HERE.
Here are some of our favourite items that are handcrafted by the women living in Lebanon and northern Syria:
Provides dignified work to Syrian women in Shatila refugee camp, Lebanon
Hand-knit by a woman displaced in Northern Syria
GATES OF DAMASCUS BOOK MARK
100% of proceeds support the Tight Knit Syria Education Program
This blog is part of a series we are doing here at Brave Soles called "Good People Doing Good Things."
It takes courage to stay the course and stay true to your values and vision. Now, more than ever, we believe in the power of raising our voices, passion and attention to GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS.
Do you have someone you recommend us to feature here? Send us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.