LEAP - Ladies Ethiopian Art Project

Overview •

LEAP – Ladies Ethiopian Art Project LEAP is a project to empower women of Ethiopian extraction living in Ashkelon. The project was launched and funded by the Ashkelon-Baltimore Partnership and run by The Ashkelon Foundation. The Foundation provides administrative and bookkeeping services to the project. The Municipality of Ashkelon and the Ashkelon Women’s Council also take an active interest in the project, which is held at the Havatzelet Community Center. The project is aimed at helping Ethiopian women use their traditional handicraft skills to restore their pride and self confidence.

The project has an added benefit as a social support group, as the women enjoy the weekly meeting and they share their experiences, their problems and discuss the news of the day, while working on their embroideries. Non-Ethiopian volunteers often join the group. The Ethiopian women have undergone a tremendous transition in their lives, in their move from Ethiopia to Israel, from traditional rural society to fast-paced urban environment. The project, and the work the women do, rebuilds the women’s confidence in their abilities, enhances their self esteem and also upgrades their image in the eyes of their families, their community and themselves. This partnership project connects the women of Baltimore with the Ethiopian women of Ashkelon. Baltimore delegations to Ashkelon visit to see LEAP women at work, take an active interest in the progress of the group, and receive regular updates and photos.

We are currently in need of a donation of 5000$ in order to reignite thie project that has been frozen since the beginning of 2010.