alte Frau an Nähmaschine

13. June 2023

13. June 2023

Skills Training Centre – a source of joy and creativity

Our Greek partner, Hellenic Ministries, launched the the Skills Training Centre (STC) in 2019. The Centre supports refugee women, mainly from Iran, Afghanistan and Ukraine. The women find themselves at a challenging time in their lives, in a foreign country with a different culture and language and have neither a job nor income. At the STC, they learn various skills, for example, sewing and how to make clothes, soap, shampoo or balsam. Hellenic Ministries wants to help them earn an income. At the same time, the Centre’s workers share the Bible’s positive message with the women: Each lesson begins with a prayer and study of a passage from the Bible.

Liliana Ball, Head of the Centre, explains: “When we come together, it’s not just about learning a skill, but sharing life together and creating beautiful memories”.

Offering sustainable help

Educational opportunities are especially important in development cooperation: They help ensure that people who are currently dependent on support can shape their lives more independently or even free themselves of the help of others altogether in the future. Our projects have shown us, time and time again, that people manage to get out of the dependence cycle.

You can support us achieve this!

A fresh start in Athens – a morning in the Ukrainian class

Natalya, Liudmila, Eugenia, Nina and Anastasia fled Ukraine in early 2022. With no more than a suitcase, they arrived in Athens to attempt a fresh start. When they heard about the activities at the STC, they were interested and decided to join. So, every Wednesday morning, the room fills up with energetic women whose eyes sparkle and whose voices are cheerful and full of enthusiasm. They enjoy teasing each other, and the questions they ask their Russian sewing teacher, Helen, reveal they are hungry to learn.
Sewing machines are “ablaze” amid colourful threads and thimbles, steam irons and smooth, dainty fabrics, while the counters display various soap shapes which emanate scents of orange, lavender, vanilla or rosemary.

Recent news from our project in Greece

This Centre offers community, exchange and new friends.

Help in word and deed – „A gift from God“

“This place is a gift from God,” says Natalia, and 82-year-old Nina adds: “God is here to help us, by giving us two very good teachers who answer all our questions”. Liudmila says: “Here, we don’t just learn a skill, but we find companionship, people to talk to and new friends. Every time one course ends, we can’t wait for the next one to start!”

Liliana, the Centre director, says that “the STC walls have heard many sad stories, but also happy ones, laughter and tears, celebrations and birthdays …”. On Women’s Day, she gifted her students a cake and handmade gifts. Their eyes shone with a joy that you feel when you experience appreciation. We pray that the students will continue their work and see themselves as God sees them: wonderful and special!

More recent news from the project in Athens