‘New Hope’ is the name of a tailor’s shop in the heart of Caserta, southern Italy, where eight women from different origins and backgrounds work together to give themselves the chance to be independent and live their lives freely.
It started almost 20 years ago as a way to provide migrant women, mainly of African origin, the opportunity to escape from the legacy of human trafficking and start a new life.
“Thanks to an order of a thousand bags from the regional administration in 2004, we had the strength and the courage to invest what we had earned, in order to give the girls the possibility to keep dreaming through this tailor’s shop,” said Mirela Macovei, President of New Hope Cooperative.
Today, the tailor’s shop has opened its doors to all women who want to take control of their own lives. They have put their past behind them, and what matters is what they do now.
One of the workers at the New Hope Cooperative is Happiness Ojo. “Every product here, everything we are doing, all of them talk about something,” she said. “It is like a message sent to other people: there is hope, there is experience, we are trying to explain many things to people.”
From the darkness of their past to the colours of a new life. For these women, being creative with fabric is not only a way to earn their living, but it also represents a tangible sign of their liberation from oppressive conditions.
“We want to be an example,” explained Macovei. “Women are strong enough to pursue their dreams, to be the protagonists of their own life and their family life, not only as mothers and wives but also as independent women, with their own job.”