Women doing crochet in Shatila thanks to grants from Basmeh and Zeitooneh. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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It has a large community center in the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila that teaches women entrepreneurial skills and provides participants with a grant to launch their own business ideas.The program aims to empower women financially and provide psychological support in order to help them gain more independence. However, despite popular demand to repeat the program, Basmeh and Zeitooneh are currently facing a funding crisis.For Awatef, it's imperative that the program continues, as it has had a large impact on the community.Mirvat, who started her own crochet store after completing the program, is currently in Lebanon while her husband and son are in her native Ghouta in Syria.Awatef took part in the program and after completion joined the administration of Basmeh and Zeitooneh. Awatef, who is also Syrian refugee, explained that the program gave the women – herself included – a sense of community and belonging that can be elusive to many people displaced in Lebanon.
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