2020 VISION: Our Hopes for the Future.

PART 2

THE CAFE

The STEP-IN team are brimming with wonderful ideas. Whether they be new health programs, grassroot developments, or social enterprises. We’re huge advocates for sustainable lifestyles, from the large compost heap outside the staff house to the in-office penchant for recycling paper and materials as much as possible.

Our newest proposal, however, is a little bigger. Inspired by the global movement of empowering and sustainable social initiatives, and our slight obsession with coffee (cough Zuzana cough). STEP-IN is currently developing a proposal for The Café. A community-led project that will provide employment and development opportunities to the local community, especially to Yazidi women. Who have survived extreme sectarian violence and are struggling to reintegrate back into the complex and often divisive Iraqi society.

By offering them employment, training, and eventually management opportunities within an inclusive business environment, we will not only be helping them to develop themselves and their futures, but inspiring social cohesion and challenging stereotypes by encouraging interactions with resilient and persecuted members of society.

Through The Café we intend to build a welcoming environment inclusive to all genders, religions, and minorities. We especially aim to encourage women into the cafe for social interaction as culturally they are more likely to stay at home in family-orientated environments. By providing child-friendly events such as ‘mother and baby’ mornings, and making the cafe a smoke-free zone (unusual in Iraq), we hope to welcome them into the space. We also intend for the cafe to demonstrate environmentally-conscious initiatives. As much as feasibly possible we would like to develop the cafe into a waste-free business, encourage recycling, and reduce the use of disposable items.

Ideally, as the cafe grows it will be a base from which STEP-IN can host more social enterprise programs and events. Our current team includes an art therapist, trauma-recovery professionals, photographers, writers, and more. Our ideas for workshops are never-ending. It is our hope that as the project develops The Café becomes a booming, inclusive social enterprise in the heart of Dohuk.
It is our final intention, that all profits made from The Café will be fed back into our HandSAP programme. Supporting people with complex medical needs receive the treatment they need. (For more information on HandSAP, see previous section.)

If you are interested in this project and would like to support it’s development, please email:
info@step-in-project.org
With the subject line: ‘The Café’