Before the war, a large proportion of Syrian women were in need of educational courses to hep them become financially independent, so as not to remain in the ‘shadow’ of men. During this war, they have become in need of courses of all kinds, including trauma counseling. This environment is what led to the founding of a project, “Women Now”, meant to serve Syrian women in various ways.
In the Syrian countryside, the Women Now organization was launched. It aimed to enable Syrian women to become an active member of society, both economically and socially, and to become a key partner in the political decision-making at the local and international level. Ms. Muzna Aljundi, a spokeswoman for the organization, told SyriaUntold, that Women Now was opening two new centers in the Idlib countryside and four new ones in the Eastern Ghouta.
The courses are open to all women under the age of 60. In its first year of operation, the center introduced only educational courses, including computer literacy courses in the Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Photoshop as well as language courses in English and French.
In 2015, the organization grew significantly. Hundreds of women had enrolled in their vocational courses, including hairdressing, nursing, and textile work, and their financial education courses, such as operations methods and budget preparations. Ms. Muzna emphasised that all the courses offered were free, and that the reason the number of women affiliated with the centers increased was due to the flexibility of choosing your own course at your own pace.
Over time, a special department for psychological support was opened, with psychosocial guides and instructors to train and lead activities and lectures concerned with the daily life of Syrian women and the challenges they face with regards they face to their health and their families. The centers offer private counseling to help them with their trauma and psychological issues they’ve been exposed to during the war.
The founders depend on funding from various humanitarian organizations concerned with women and children for all their activities, according to Ms. Muzna. She added that in addition to their concern with women, the organization now provides courses for children, including drawing, reading, writing, and arithmetics. Upon successful completion of the courses, the students get certificates.