Two Syrian tailors have been training refugees in Yorkshire to make personal protective equipment (PPE) for a local care home.
Youssef, who comes from the city of Aleppo in Syria, came up with the idea of creating a sewing group of refugee tailors and seamstresses to make PPE for workers at a care home in Sheffield. Along with another tailor called Zaher, Youssef began training the group to make high quality protective face masks and scrubs.
The project came about through a training and employment programme run by World Jewish Relief, in association with the Refugee Council, where Youssef is currently being trained.
Youssef was renowned for making wedding dresses in Aleppo, but says he is now just happy to be giving back to the country which gave him refuge.
Zaher was equally pleased to be able to give back to the Sheffield community which he says has embraced him since moving there. He commented:
It is in my nature to help people. When Covid-19 hit, when I knew I could do something to help using my skills I didn’t hesitate. I try to help people. Even when I have problems I like to help others as it raises my spirit. I am not doing this for reward, I am doing this to help those in need.
While Zaher has his own sewing machine, Youssef has been hand stitching the face coverings. However, they soon hope to have access to more sewing machines to enable them to increase production.
Youssef and Zaher’s story is just one of many featuring refugees making a difference to local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including that of 17-year-old UWC student Dechen who has been making PPE and face masks in St Albans.
For more information about the World Jewish Relief’s Specialist Training and Employment Programme, visit: https://www.worldjewishrelief.org/Refugees.
Pictured: Zaher in his home making face masks (image by World Jewish Relief)
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