Jnoubi Jewellery

Jnoubi Jewellery made by Gypsy/Bedouin women in Lebanon.

Our Jnoubi Jewellery (which means "My South" in Arabic) is made by a group of Gypsy/Bedouin women near to Beirut in Lebanon, who have been encouraged to develop long forgotten skills in jewellery making. With the help and support from a lady called Giovani, they are now making beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and earrings using beads made of glass, clay, and natural materials.

Our connection with Jnoubi was made via one of our Sheffield volunteers, whose son was working out in Lebanon as a teacher. The son of one of our volunteers in Sheffield, Matthew, went to Lebanon with his wide to teach for a year. During their time there he heard about a group of people living in shacks at the mouth of a river near to the UN Peace Line and close to the border with Israel. Matthew visited the site and found that the people there had no sanitation, no running water, and the shacks were virtually on the beach and therefore very vulnerable. The area was virtually a rubbish tip with debris being deposited every tide. The people, who turned out to be Gypsy/ Bedouin, had some electricity thanks to cables and some improvisation but it was very intermittent and it was clear that they needed help. 

However, despite their circumstances, they are a proud people and their dignity needed to be respected, and so a long process of visiting these people, talking with them, accepting their hospitality (drinks of tea!) and listening to what they thought they needed was embarked on.

By this time Matthew was part of a group of 3 NGOs ( non -governmental organisations) interested in helping these people and it was decided that there would be three aspects to the project - now named New Horizon

  1. with the children receiving education
  2. a clinic catering for medical and dental health being set up
  3. and the women being given vocational training to enable them to develop skills to support themselves and their families.

The school started, with the first subject being basic hygiene principles - brushing teeth, and learning to use a toilet! Hair was brushed and cleared of head lice, and glass removed from the children's feet as they had not had shoes. This last job took two days. Now these 20 -25 children are happy, settled and making progress, and the woman are making the beautiful jewellery you can buy right here! 

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