KAGIDER, in partnership with the Turkish Vodafone Foundation and the Soma Municipality, established the Women First at Soma: Education and Production Centre in December 2014 aimed at supporting the production and sales of women’s handmade crafts and products. The center produced its first graduates receiving certificates of completion.

A total of 370 women registered at the centre where 124 graduates received a Vocational Training Certificate presented at a ceremony attended by Cigdem Erdogan Atabek, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs, Erdogan Bektas, the Governor of Manisa, Bahattin Atci, the District Governor of Soma, Hasan Ergene, the Mayor of Soma, Hasan Suel, the Head of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Vodafone Foundation and Sanem Oktar, the President of KAGIDER.

The ceremony took place 28 July 2015 commencing with speeches delivered by distinguished guests and Ms. Sanem Oktar followed by a group photograph. Afterwards, the women who received training in wire embroidery and sewing displayed their products to the guests. The center conducted two business partnerships with the primary objective of providing social and economic support to the women of Soma.

The center worked together with the home textile company English Home in providing towels for the women to embroider heart-shaped designs. 64 women worked on 22 000 orders where the products will be sold starting in October of this year. At the same time, the women worked together with world renown designer, Arzu Kaprol, in sewing embroidery designs onto products which are then to be sold at Vodafone stores.

The women in Soma are being trained and taught to move from traditional forms of designs and embroidery to more contemporary styles to be put on display. The center has dedicated almost 170 hours in its training programs on embroidery and sewing.

Over 100 women produced almost 16 000 coasters at the center which were then given as New Year gifts to their Vodafone partners. In addition the women produced embroidery designs for 4250 lavender bags of which they gave to Vodafone as gifts for International Women’s Day on March 8.

The Women First in Soma: Education and Production Centre was inaugurated by the Soma Municipality and has a capacity of 50 providing training programs to 200 women. It is equipped with one sewing studio, a computer room and seminar room.