Hello friends! We are writing to share with you the very special women at the heart of Abel. All of the women we serve are our heroes. They represent and embody the deep courage and bravery needed to keep going despite the odds, and despite the severity of their circumstances. Both in their home country and here in Canada, these women never gave up on themselves or their families. They are compassionate, witty, loving and hard-working women who will do anything to support their community and the people they love. We'd like to introduce them to you!
This is Lily. She is strong and loyal. Lily works multiple jobs to support her two boys and we're trying to get her more work with us so she can retire from working with the elderly. Lily is also an incredible pattern maker, having gone to fashion school in Iran, she can also do stunning fashion illustrations and when she was studying everyone would ask her to draw for them! We'll ask her if we can show them to you! Lily is a single mom and her heart is so big that everything she says feels like a bear hug.
This is Parvin, she is peaceful and wise. Parvin has a way of making you feel like everything will be ok. She moves compassionately and intentionally in all that she does and she adores sewing. When she talks about sewing her face lights up! She talks about sewing and fabric like an artist talks about brush strokes or musicians talk about song. She loves her new grand daughter and going for walks in the sunshine.
Lily and Parvin were the first to join our sewing team! They are best friends and look out for each other and their community all the time. They are also role models for us as they live their lives full of love and positivity for others.
This is Akram, who is kind and extremely hardworking and has held a minimum 3 jobs at a time since she got to Canada, February 2020. She arrived during the beginning of the pandemic to support her son transition into school life here in North Vancouver. She is one of the hardest workers we've ever met and her commitment to building her son's future is so inspiring. Akram has been learning to sew and sometimes helps cut fabric for preparation for the other seamstresses on our team.
Henny is always the life of the party! She also has amazing insight, every time we get to see her she's talking about the universe and love and some of life's biggest questions. Henny dedicates a lot of her time to supporting new immigrant families like herself to find a new microwave or get a new couch. Henny will always leave you feeling seen, heard and loved.
Maria is new to us as of summer 2020! A friend of hers reached out to us for an opportunity for her to gain additional income through our sewing projects. She came just in time to help us sew over 10,000 masks for the Royal Columbian Hospital and other businesses. Maria can make you laugh without saying anything and her giggles are really contagious. She is from Guatemala City and we're lucky that one of our volunteers speaks a bit of Spanish. We love this photo of her in the snow!
Zienab is a very brave soul. She carries her head high and lives life with an open heart. Her smile is amazing and she can be silly and serious all in the same moment. Zienab can also read people extremely quickly or send you a joke without having to say anything. Her sense of humour is the kind that doesn't require words, just understanding. She loves to laugh and tell her story.
Language is the barrier most felt by the women on our team, but it's never prevented their work. We hope for a future where barriers to employment no longer exist, because everyone is valued and provided opportunities to have meaningful employment. We want to do more Q & A with these inspiring women this year so if you have any questions, please feel free to email us or send us a message on instagram. They would love to hear from you!