Jelena Zhurajeva was born in Estonia, lived in Spain and now landed in Switzerland where she became active team-member of the “Social Fabric”. She told Lucify.ch how her organization encourages social and ethical interactions through the projects with refugees.
Transgressing stereotypes, both men and women do the sewing in the “Social Fabric”. Jelena recalls the example of a refugee man who eagerly participated in a project of reusable hygienic pads for women. Participants are not only taught how to use the sewing machines but also encouraged to go an extra mile and develop themselves professionally as tailors. Integration of refugee people into a job-market is a main goal. For example one of the young participants could realise his dreams and become a professional tailor thanks to the successful crowdfunding campaign. Later he could open his own sewing atelier. “Social Fabric” also works with the partner organisations in other countries. One of them is educating former prostitutes in India to become tailors and using recycled saris as main material.
“Social Fabric” promotes re-use and re-purpose of textile. Some bags are made from jeans or sailing boat material. Suppliers are carefully chosen as ways of production and pollution during transportation are paid a lot of attention to. Donators of the materials are also very welcome. Social Fabric encourages reuse rather than throwing away.
As Social Fabric is an enterprise with social impact, the profits go to the sustention of deprived individuals and support of refugees willing to develop themselves as professional tailors. Transparency of management is at the core of “Social Fabric”.
On the 17th of September, Social Fabric is organizing community event with apero and sales of baby-blankets that were sewed during one of the summer-projects. Find more information in our Lucify-Agenda.
Anna speaks French, German, English and Russian. She obtained a Master Degree at the University of Bern (Cultural Studies) and a Bachelor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (Philology). Anna has big interest in such themes as: identity, cultural hybridity, music, and raising children in multicultural context. She is convinced that our children can teach us a lot. They are not born with stereotypes but they risk to acquire them later under external circumstances. Our task as parents is to help them grow as conscious and culture-aware humans.