Parween is a Kurdish lady, aged 34, from Iraq. She arrived in Cyprus with her husband and 5 children in July 2018.
Parween's husband was receiving death threats in Iraq. They decided they just needed to get to any country in Europe so they and their family could be safe. It was only when they arrived on the island did they know they were in Cyprus [this is a very common experience].
The family currently live in Nicosia, in a small apartment near the Dignity Centre. The space is small for seven people, but at least they feel safe. Parween has been a member of the Dignity Centre since it opened. It has become a place for her to go to daily and a place that has helped her fight the sadness she was feeling.
She already knew how to sew which made it very easy for her to feel comfortable at the Sewing Space. From the beginning she has felt that this was her home, her place.
She has improved her sewing skills with the classes, her English is getting better and now she has many friends from many parts of the world.
The money that she receives regularly from the Dignity Centre allows her to buy small things for her children. The children always ask when the Dignity Centre payment is going to be, because they know that means that on that week there will be something special for them.
Parween has been essential in the design of new items. She has always been one of teacher Ba's main supports, both in the cutting and preparation of the patterns.
We are very proud that one of the bags we produce is named in her honour - the Parween Tote Bag
When Parween talks about the future, she just wants her family to be safe and for her kids to grow up in a place where they can have a future. Like many mums, she wants her children to become doctors, lawyers or teachers.
Click on image to look at The Parween Bags