Women all over the world are supporting themselves and their families with their crafts as a form of economic empowerment. Skills and knowledge, instead of formal education, play a fundamental role in the economic growth and social development for these women. In the United Arab Emirates, we truly believe in serving our community and ensuring that we are positively impacting the lives of underprivileged women in the UAE. We create opportunities for talented women to acquire skills that can help improve their lives and raise their standard of living. We also preserve traditional crafts and local culture through the production of high quality, handmade contemporary products that are authentically Emirati.
Under the visionary leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, the Emirates Red Crescent President’s Assistant for Women’s Affairs, Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts organization was founded in 2006 to offer vocational training aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of underprivileged women in the UAE to ensure them with a dignified life. The organization expands on their crafts, teaches them new technical skills and supplies them with the raw materials and designs to create culturally inspired products that are sold locally and internationally.
Our journey started with just three craftswomen working in an office at the Emirates Red Crescent producing a few products. Today, we are the most comprehensive women empowerment by crafts entity in the UAE. Our craftswomen community boasts more than 200 craftswomen, local and expat across all the emirates, producing more than 90 products ranging from corporate gifts, stationery, home accessories, and a fashion line. Our care includes financial, social, health and education related and more ways of flourishing craftswomen’s lives.
In the past 10 years, we worked with hundreds of craftswomen in the UAE and witnessed their incomes multiply, where some launched their own home businesses. Before joining Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts these women were without an income and fully dependent on others for their financial security. With our continuous support, they receive training, mentorship, and marketing where by producing just a few baskets and dolls, a craftswoman can earn a sustainable income to cover some of her needs.
Meaning of "Al Ghadeer"
In Arabic, “Al Ghadeer” means a body of water that forms on the ground after rain or a flood. People, animals and trees of the desert especially cherish water as they can nourish themselves to survive. We strive to have Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts as the place where the lives of craftswomen and crafts in the UAE flourish. We fully devote ourselves to empowering women through sustainable crafts and are committed to investing in a better world. Under our guidance, the women gain self-confidence from their newly discovered talents, independence from abusive relationships, and most importantly financial security because they can now support themselves and their children’s health and education aspirations. As the old Emirati proverb says, “a drop on a drop becomes a “Ghadeer” and continuous improvement and hard work however small results in a greater good.