For a second financial cycle, The Balkis women’s training and psychosocial support center in Aleppo has continued to provide its services to women and children in the besieged, opposition-controlled, part of the city.
For about a year now, trainers and social workers at the center have worked hard to support the vulnerable local community, which continues to suffer under the heavy toll of constant bombardment and besiegement by the Syrian regime and its allies. Balkis was launched through a joint effort by the Local Council in Aleppo City and the Tamkeen Committee there.
Day to day, the center offers a host of services to women, young adults, and children. It has organized training courses for women in nursing, information technology, sewing and handcrafting, and childcare. Girls and women interested in developing their computer skills were offered courses in IT basics and software like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Nursing and first aid courses taught attendees how to respond to different types of emergencies, including chemical weapon and napalm attacks, while sewing and handcrafting courses developed women’s abilities to design and create beautiful and useful clothes to face the harsh conditions of Aleppo winters.
The Balkis center also offers a programme for child support under the title of Open Sesame, aiming to protect children in the state of war. The center works to develop the welfare of children by addressing their personal, emotional and communication skills and values, helping them to cope with the challenges of family and social life during the war. Trainers in the center also guided children through literacy and computer skill courses.
“I’m very happy coming to the center, and I love the atmosphere here.” said little Shaima’a, a fourth grader who participates in the center’s activities, “My mother had always worried about me playing in the street, so she brought me here to play and have fun with the teachers.”