Whilst the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been destructive, they have in some respects also been constructive. Many people have endured the consequences of the pandemic; however, some not only withstood it but were also able to benefit from it. Take Anahit from Armenia, for example. She participated in the EU's Covid-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership. Anahit has always had a special interest in making handmade accessories. Thanks to the joint efforts of People in Need and Women's Rights House and support from the EU4Business Initiative, she improved her skills and became successful in business.
Anahit began hook-weaving without any previous knowledge. It was a challenge for her to start, but after making the first hook-woven bag for her younger daughter, she decided to see if she could become successful in the craft. "I tried, and I succeeded", says Anahit.
Thenceforth, Anahit began exploring all the aspects of making things with a hook or a knitting needle. Currently, she makes hook-woven toys under the Amasia Wool Factory Brand. She puts up these goods for sale at the LentexHome shop in Gyumri. Additionally, she makes macramé items which are also in demand.
Anahit says that PIN's and its partners' training was of great importance to her as she learned how to run her business more practically and profitably. As a result, she can save time and spend this on growing professionally to ensure her place in the handicrafts market.
Furthermore, Anahit sees herself as a change agent because she wants other women to be engaged in business. She believes that if she cooperates with companies abroad, she can have more orders. If she is successful in this endeavour, Anahit believes that she will be able to empower and engage other women who are skilful and ready to participate.
Overall, the EU Covid-19 Solidarity programme aims to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and contribute to the longer-term socio-economic resilience of vulnerable groups in Eastern Europe. Anahit's success in business, empowered by this programme, stands as a testament to both the importance and success of this programme.
Women's Rights House is a grassroots NGO based in Gyumri, Armenia. Their goal is to support the development of female leaders in Shirak, the country's most disadvantaged region. It is one of many civil society organisations supported by People in Need within the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership framework. This EU funded project aims to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19 and contribute to the long-term socio-economic resilience of vulnerable groups in Eastern Europe. Under the implementation of People in Need (PIN), and in partnership with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) and AFEW International (AFEW), the project aims to propose a set of interventions in several countries, including Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.