The Maker Space: Empowering Women Displaced by War and Violence

Video by Baryan Majeed for Preemptive Love.

On a plot of land in a refugee camp in northern Iraq, the scent of jasmine fills the air. Women walk in twos and threes toward a whitewashed building. Although the sun blazes outside, inside the building, it is bright and cool. A generator provides the luxury of air conditioning and keeps the lights on.

This building is our Maker Space, a place where women displaced by war learn artisan skills, enabling them to support their families. Created in 2018, women from the nearby Barika Camp learn how to make pottery and candles, sew and knit, and soon, they will learn how to work with wood. The artisanal products they create are sold in Preemptive Love’s online shop and craft markets in northern Iraq. 

Many of our female artisans are Arabic speakers from Syria who live in Iraq’s Kurdish region. In response, we have offered English and Kurdish language lessons so they can better navigate daily life in Kurdistan. We also hold different types of training to enhance the makers’ personal and professional lives. There are business courses to help the makers better promote their handmade products. Yoga classes are given to promote positive mental health, which is vital to survivors of trauma and war.

Perhaps best of all, the Maker Space provides these women a safe place to come together, form friendships, and be supported. In turn, they are better equipped to show up for themselves and their families. This special place is only possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. Watch this video and see firsthand how you are helping women displaced by war and violence reclaim their lives.