Pure Felt Jordan studio has officially opened.
Today was a beautiful happy day: the Pure Felt Jordan studio in the remote village Fefa, in Jordan, was officially opened by Princess Rajwa bint Ali in the appreciated presence of our first 8 sponsors and our 24 happy wool ladies.
Pure Felt Jordan is a cooperation between PURE FELT and the Princess Taghrid Institute in Amman, 2 women’s empowerment organisations joining forces.
By Phyllis Fagell
Washington Post 14.2.2017
Here are seven tips parents can give middle school girls to help them keep their confidence at a vulnerable time and develop skills they will need for the workplace.
Don’t try to be perfect
Girls’ desire to please can backfire. Rachel Simmons, author of “The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls With Courage and Confidence,” explains that when girls focus on winning approval, they shy away from risks. “If you’re a quintessential good girl, you experience failing as letting someone down. Instead of saying, ‘I missed that goal in the soccer game,’ it’s that everyone will hate me.” She urges parents to emphasize performance rather than relationships and to help girls avoid ruminating, which amplifies the impact of the setback.
Girls also may be more likely to attribute failure to lack of ability, while research shows that boys tend to blame external factors, such as not studying. Simmons notes that parents can counteract this mind-set by focusing more on progress than results.
For Claire Shipman, co-author of “The Confidence Code” and the mother of an 11-year-old girl, understanding that failure helps kids develop resilience was liberating. “Instead of obsessing, I am able to quickly say, ‘Okay, life lesson,’ and focus on helping her move forward.”
Parents can encourage girls to get in the habit of connecting with mentors they respect, whether they are teachers, coaches or supervisors at an after-school job. This is a deceptively simple task that requires judgment, and it will be a critical skill in the workplace.
Mentors can help by encouraging girls to embrace their differences as strengths instead of failures. Janine Shelffo, the mother of a 14-year-old girl and co-head of technology, media and telecommunications at UBS Investment Bank, says she benefited from role models early in her career who had the confidence to embrace their own idiosyncrasies. They reinforced for her that there was no single blueprint for career success. Mentors don’t have to be the same gender, Shelffo says, adding that men with daughters have been some of her most impactful mentors. She notes that they often have greater appreciation for the subtle obstacles to female success in the workplace.
Own your success
It’s important that parents encourage girls to take credit for their work. Shipman says that girls are more likely than boys to be self-deprecating or to attribute their success to luck or other people. She explains that girls worry about coming across as arrogant and just want to fit in, but the problem is that they start to believe their own rhetoric and experience self-doubt.
Parents can reassure girls that it’s not immodest to have confidence and to know their own worth. As Shipman says, “Teachers and employers want to be associated with talented, passionate people.”
Manage your money
As girls begin to make their own money, parents can help them open a bank account and learn how to make their earnings grow. Shelffo frequently tells stories from her work to illustrate basic financial concepts for her daughter, such as the relationship between risk and reward, the time value of money and the pitfalls of excessive leverage. She hopes this understanding will provide a strong foundation for making good decisions down the road about saving for the future and investing wisely.
Strive for self-care
Parents can help girls learn how to evaluate their commitments, prioritize and recharge. “I think a lot of this has to come from the mom,” says Simmons, a single parent by choice. She has consciously tried to avoid leading a crazed life. “Moms need to model saying ‘No, I can’t pick you up right now.’ ” The prototypical “good mother” can never do too much for her child, she explains, and that sets a really destructive example, particularly for girls.
Although it’s important for parents to model balance, it’s also important for mothers to communicate that a career can be satisfying. “I’ve known too many moms who feel so guilty about being away from their kids, they are apologetic and fail to convey . . . that their careers are intellectually stimulating and fulfilling,” Shelffo says. Parents can have a lasting impact by modeling partnership at home. Shelffo sees a direct link between her daughter’s intolerance to gender stereotypes and her husband’s willingness to serve as primary caregiver when her daughter was young.
Stick up for yourself
Parents can coach girls to solve problems on their own, whether they need academic support or want more responsibility at an internship. They can encourage them to look for opportunities to use their voice. This may mean actively contributing to class discussions, joining a debate team or championing a cause.
Don’t let anyone define your goals
If parents want girls to dream big, they need to underscore the importance of a support network, whether it’s family, peers or future colleagues.
No one can be successful at everything, and parents can encourage girls to stay optimistic and to believe in their intrinsic value even when they stumble. If they don’t experience failure, girls may never discover their inner strength and resolve. It’s exhilarating when they realize they can triumph after a string of setbacks.
At every step of the way, parents can ask girls questions to help them formulate a plan. What do they hope to accomplish? What fills them with passion? Whether they follow a choreographed path or take unexpected detours, their journey will be smoother if they feel confident in the driver’s seat.
In the design and the roll-out of the Pure Felt microbusiness programme and training we base ourselves on findings and conclusions of various official studies. Five studies performed in four African countries for example distinguish a) psychological success factors and b) sociodemographic success factors for microbusinesses. These factors so far have appeared quite universal for all the countries we are active in or focusing on.
Psychological topics cover: goal setting, planning and proactivity, psychological process characteristics of strategies, personal initiative, innovativeness, entrepreneurial orientation, and coping with problems.
Sociodemographic factors cover: human capital of owner, starting capital, loans, firm age, type of industry, family members as employees, linage to formal sector and start-up because of unemployment or other reasons.
The number one success factor for all microbusinesses is for the entrepreneur to be highly active and initiating in his/her approach, to actively learn from problems and mistakes, having an achievement orientation, personal integrity and, to a lesser extent, being risk taking. Competitive aggressiveness, a learning and achievement orientation, following active and planning strategies and motivating employees have proven to be of further utmost importance. The owner who wants to grow, must be able to overcome psychological barriers that hinder growth (such as e.g. dealing with envy, dealing with one`s family and demands from them, the difficulties of delay of gratification and reinvestment, innovation, initiative, etc.).
The main conclusion is that with their ongoing action, ingenuity, initiative, innovativeness, entrepreneurship and orientation, and good strategy and continuous detailed and controlled planning, microenterprise owners can grow and be successful in any line of business. Furthermore, it has been established that microbusiness owners who started their business because of unemployment were more successful than those who had other motives and that the employment of family members is only advised in the first phase of a microbusiness.
Selection of suitable microbusiness participants
In order to select the right participants in microbusiness programmes (and encourage them to set up their microbusiness), studies prove that one needs to focus on the “high potentials” in a community. These are people who know their strengths and weaknesses and manage their personality, who have a high degree of proven action orientation, achievement orientation, initiative, innovativeness, flexibility, intelligence, and good learning and good people skills.
Once they are selected they can be taught necessary additional skills, such as how to be more proactive, act on detailed controlled planning, innovate with regard to product and process, take personal initiative including creative solution-finding techniques in overcoming barriers, how to best learn from mistakes and from others, increasing one`s self-reliance, and, of course additional schooling in administration, management and relevant technical skills.
In our programmes we also focus on a model of partnerships with e.g. governments, other NGOs, chambers of commerce to develop the right psychological environment for the microbusiness owners and to benefit from mutual cross-pollination.
In addition, the study results have shown that there must be good role models in the community itself and it helps to give awards to innovative indigenous entrepreneurs to increase the chances to learn from such role models.
Entrepreneurs should also be encouraged to help each other with peer reviews to increase their productivity. Peers are particularly good for suggesting solutions that are appropriate within the respective culture and the environment.
On 17 September 2016, at the AtemZUG exhibition during the famous Zuger Kunstnacht “Pure Felt – the Art of Empowerment” proudly presented the textile art installation “INTI” and our mission to expand Pure Felt`s social impact and economic empowerment concept from South Africa and Jordan to Peru to the public.
This art installation represents a tribute to the people of Peru, to Inti -the ancient Incan sun god representing our source of life- and to Mama Uqllu –deified in the Inca mythology as the daughter of the Sun god Inti, and the goddess who taught the Inca women the art of spinning yarn.
THE ART INSTALLATION – USE YOUR SENSES: SEE, TOUCH, LISTEN …
The heart of this art installation is a 1.20 m diameter warm-yellow woolen bulky yarn ball representing the sun; its woolen sun rays fill the entire space and are connecting all walls. The woolen yarn connects the sun with the earth, a maze called life, which is enabled by the sun. A life in which each individual and creature has its purpose and destiny and is finding his or its own way by walking their individual labyrinths. The sun of this installation can be explored by touch, the maze can be walked –partly straight-up, partly bent-, or even crawled.
The Inca believed in reincarnation. Those who obeyed the Incan moral code—ama suwa, ama llulla, ama quella (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy)—went to live in the sun’s warmth. Others spent their eternal days in the cold earth. These texts also from part of the art installation.
Subtle meditative sounds of the jungle during the night -crickets, frogs, birds, and a random owl and monkey which must have inhibited the Inca Temples in the Macchu Picchu area at the time of the Incas- contribute to experiencing a strong connection with our origin.
During the planning and creation process of this art work the artists felt strongly connected to the likely often challenged, yet strong mathematical minds and geometric talents of the Inca architects. This art work is bringing together the PAST (ancient wool and craft techniques), PRESENT (modern abstract art installation), and FUTURE (empowerment and improved lives for unemployed women in Peru) in its own unique manner and is telling the story of the Incas for the benefit of today`s unemployed women of Peru. The high unemployment rates among youth and women in both cities and remote rural areas, Peru`s abundant alpaca and llama wool availability, and its strong wool craft heritage, are making Peru a third well-suited country for Pure Felt`s social impact programmes. We are working together with local NGO`s and foundations to safeguard sustainable impact and focus on the inclusion of vulnerable women and adolescent girls in our programmes (many of them victims of domestic violence which is a huge problem in Peru), providing them with education, jobs, self-esteem and a future.
The Inca Empire (called Tahuantinsuyu in old Quechua spelling), was an empire located in South America from 1438 C.E. to 1533 C.E. During that period, the Inca used conquest and peaceful assimilation to incorporate in their empire a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean mountain ranges. In 1533 C.E., Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca, was killed by the Spanish. At its height, Tahuantinsuyu included the full Andes mountain region, what are now Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and also extended into portions of what are now Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. The center of the empire was in the city of Cusco (Macchu Picchu), the center of the 4 provinces of the empire.
The sun was extremely important to the Incas, particularly for the people of the highlands, because it was necessary for the production of crops. The sun’s heat was also thought to cause rain. Subjects of the empire were allowed to worship their ancestral gods as long as they accepted the supremacy of Inti, the sun god, which was the most important god worshiped by the Inca. The Inca dedicated many ceremonies to the Sun and the Inca ruler was considered to be the living representative of Inti. The Incas would set aside large quantities of natural and human resources throughout the empire for Inti. Each conquered province was supposed to dedicate a third of their lands and herds to Inti as mandated by the Inca. Each major province would also have a Sun Temple in which male and female priests would serve.
Through the survival of the language and of a few residual traces of the culture, the Inca civilization was not destroyed. The great and relatively humane civilization of the Incas’ main legacy is inspirational, residing in the human ability to imagine that such a fabulously rich, well-ordered, and generally humane society once existed, high up in the Andean hills.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”
– Helen Keller