Right now, millions of us are at home under a mandate to self-isolate and quarantine in order to flatten the curve in a global pandemic. But what if we didn't have a home? What if we didn't have a comfortable space in which we were able to spend those days? For many in Syria who have been victims of displacement, that has been the reality for a long time. But thanks to good people like Dana Kandalaft, founder of Tight-Knit Syria, women in this war-torn country have hope and a tangible opportunity to elevate their circumstances.
TIGHT KNIT SYRIA'S MISSION IS TO HELP RESTORE LIVELIHOODS FOR WOMEN IN REFUGEE CAMPS BY LEVERAGING THEIR EXISTING SKILL SETS IN KNITTING AND EMBROIDERY AND CONNECTING THEIR BEAUTIFUL HANDMADE ACCESSORIES TO THE WORLD.
Tight Knit Syria began in 2013 after Dana Kandalaft visited a camp for internally displaced persons in Northern Syria because she wanted to understand the Syrian humanitarian crisis firsthand and meet the people impacted. That day, an unexpected frenzy was sparked 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 and realized she could collect donated yarn from her home in Canada and also sell product from these women in her community. She wrote up a plan for Tight Knit Syria that very night.
What kind of superpower does your company possess and why should we care?
Knitting! Tight Knit Syria is all about leveraging the unique superpowers we all have. For our artisans in Lebanon and Northern Syria, a lot of them inherited advanced skill sets in knitting and embroidery from their mothers and grandmothers. Tight Knit Syria’s superpower is to break down economic barriers to women in refugee camps by collaborating closely with our artisans to introduce their handmade accessories to consumers and business partners around the world.
What are your favourite products/most popular this year?
The bookmarks! They’re both practical and beautiful. Each one comes in an array of colours and patterns. They make great gifts but you’ll end up getting one for yourself anyways. On top of that, proceeds from bookmark sales go to support our educational program for our artisans.
Right now, Tight Knit Syria would love your help!
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 TKS work, it’s nearly impossible to cover the high costs of rent, food, electricity, phone connection, medication, and other daily necessities.To help, we started a fundraiser to distribute $200 USD to 10 refugee families to help off-set their expenses in these difficult times. If you can spare even a small amount to help these amazing families, please donate here.
If you are reading as much as we are, and need a bookmark (or anything else), enjoy 20% off products with the code "KINDKARMA20" :)
Hope you enjoyed meeting Dana and if you'd like to send any positive messages to her wonderful staff during this hard time, please feel free to leave a comment below!