Enterprise name SisterWorks

What’s the trading activity?

SisterWorks is a not-for-profit social enterprise, based in Melbourne. Through work and entrepreneurship, our mission is to support women who are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants to improve their confidence, mental wellbeing and sense of belonging.

Our Vision: An Australia where all migrant women are given the opportunities to become economically empowered.

We function as an enterprise by selling ethical and sustainable products that are handmade my our migrant, refugee and asylum seeker Sisters in weekly workshops. These workshops develop their professional skills to increase opportunity for employment and education. At least 50% of the profit from each sale goes directly to the Sister that makes it.

We are based in Melbourne, with two stores, one in Richmond and the other in South Yarra.

What is your hope for the future?

We hope to expand our model to reach migrant, refugee and asylum seeker women all across Australia. We want to go to them rather then depending on the women to come to us.

How are you going with the work?

Our model of work has shifted greatly, given the current Covid situation. Our sales are now all online, with our retail stores closing face to face contact.

As our Empowerment hubs and shops have suspended face to face contact, we have shifted online and we are using creativity to move forward. Our highest priority is to keep our Sisters engaged and economically empowered. We decided that if our Sisters cannot come to us, we can go to them using technology and visiting them in their homes. To do this we are embracing our ‘learning by doing’ approach and implementing a proactive, remote activities model.

To maintain engagement with our Sisters in an environment of physical distancing, we have started e-classes and created individual support plans for each Sister. Our regular skill development workshops are still functioning via live, video meetings on a weekly basis. All of the resources, materials and instructions are delivered directly to our Sisters’ homes using the necessary precautions around physical distancing. We want our Sisters to continue to be engaged and each week we aim to involve more and more Sisters.

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