The city of Arbin in the region of Eastern Ghouta was the target of continuous bombings during the Syrian War. The area suffered one of the longest and harshest sieges. The fighting escalated in early 2018 and the five-year siege ended in April. For several months now, the area has been cleared up and reconstruction has begun. Johanniter International Assistance supports the inhabitants with income-generating measures.
The project takes up a long tradition. Before the war, Arbin was famous for manufacturing filigree furniture with mother of pearl. The knowledge and handcrafted potential were available locally. Therefore, in November 2018, a first pilot project was launched together with Johanniters partner organisation St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC). 25 young people began vocational training in a carpentry workshop which had to be repaired and equipped due to the damages before. Now the young people are working with craftsmen to produce urgently needed wooden products such as doors, windows and furniture. They will later have a worthy source of income and actively contribute to the reconstruction of Arbin.
The carpentry established in the city contributed to revitalize the local market and the neighborhood, as many nearby shop owners started rehabilitating and reopening their shops. The carpentry is closing a gap”, explains Luisa Rueda, Head of Mission for Johanniter in the area.
The project, which will benefit around 30.000 inhabitants of the surrounding districts, is financially supported by Aktion Deutschland Hilft. A new edition of the project is planned for 2019.