Kassab Women’s Center
Kassab Women’s Center was established in July 2007. The facility began as two large canvas tents within a semi-secure compound. In Spring 2010, the Center was moved to a neighboring building left empty by IRC when they left the camp. Throughout the spring and summer months, DPDO renovated the Center and made it into a welcoming space for women to work, learn, and socialize. The new Center has two large buildings, one with 3 classrooms and an office, the second a large work area. It also has secure storage areas, and a large water tank. The women are planning a vegetable garden on the premises.
Abu Shouk Women’s Center
Abu Shouk Women’s Center was established in September 2009. It is comprised of three spacious tents within a walled compound. Two tents are for training and work space, and one tent is for the Center’s daycare center. A large space between the tents is used for solar cooker trainings and ceremonies. DPDO plans to build a larger Women’s Center in 2011.
Abu Shouk IDP camp is located close to El Fasher, where DPDO’s office is located. Kassab Center is more remote and DPDO staff must travel there by bus or helicopter.
Both of the Women’s Centers are secure compounds with guards. The guards are responsible for keeping track of who is coming and going at the Centers and making sure no one enters without permission. Registered weavers have ID badges and other women coming to the Center for training or classes sign in on an attendance sheet.
DPDO provides Women’s Center managers with monthly allowances to buy tea, sugar, refreshments, weaving materials, and other supplies for the Centers. They purchase these supplies in local markets. Periodically, DPDO receives in-kind donations of personal supplies and distributes them to the women. These in-kind donations have included blankets, flashlights, soaps and lotions, and tobes (the long, colorful garments that women wear).