Kuchinate, which means “crochet” in the Eritrean language of Tigrinya, is an art and design based NGO which provides economic & social empowerment to hundreds of African refugee women and their families living in South Tel Aviv.
At Kuchinate, the women learn to cope, build resilience through art, find community, increase stability, learn marketable and transferable skills, and live in dignity.
Kuchinate participates in high-profile art collaborations, gives asylum-seeking women a voice and platform, and builds the constituency for human rights by allowing the public to engage firsthand with refugees. Kuchinate embraces the unique African cultures and celebrates creativity, the journey to freedom, and perseverance.
By making handmade products, Kuchinate women work in dignity, learn new and transferable skills, and build a stable economy. With the holistic approach, the women of Kuchinate rebuild their lives and heal together.
Kuchinate empowers women in four project areas: (1) economic empowerment, (2) education, (3) building resiliency, and (4) art and advocacy.
The artisans provide financially for their families and themselves through making beautiful handcrafts which not only helps in building confidence but also supports them economically. After being certified to craft the products, the women gain a steady product-based income. Financial stability empowers the women of Kuchinate.
The educational re-empowerment project instills skills that can be used for personal and professional development. These skills build capacity, are transferable and sustainable, and improve the women's standing in their families, in their community, and in the larger global society. Most classes are taught by members of the asylum-seeking community and created with cultural sensitivity and great attention to the needs of the women.
Kuchinate is an art-based resilience project which offers holistic support to asylum-seeking women, many of whom are victims of torture and human trafficking. In addition to designing and making of crafts and artworks, which are therapeutic, Kuchinate provides community support, individual and group psychosocial support, and self-actualization in the education project. In combination, the women of Kuchinate heal, rehabilitate and support each other.
Art and Advocacy
Kuchinate participated in high-profile art collaborations and presented its artwork at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Holon Design Museum, and more. Thousands of people have heard the voices of asylum-seeking women through our open studio, external events, art installations, and exhibitions. Kuchinate has become a space for first-hand, positive interaction with the public and asylum-seeking women in Israel.