This is a true story about 30 impoverished Iraqi women in the Suwaib area, south of Bagdad.
This is their story…
They have lost their husbands, brothers, uncles…
They have little or no education,
They have an average of 5 children,
They are in their mid to late 20s,
They have little or no work experience,
There are no child care programs available,
Their homes are about 300 sq. ft.
They love their children,
They did not want charity,
They wanted an opportunity.
Sisters Ty Nguyen-Reed & Teresa Nguyen started the Janan Collection to provide just that:
$300 per month = supports a Iraqi family of 6
$300 provides the basic = vegetables, bread & shelter
1 painting = supports a family for a month
While on her third tour in Iraq, Major Ty Nguyen-Reed was approached by a woman by the name of Fatima. Through her translator, Fatima told her that she had lost her husband when he was on his way to work when suicide bomber detonated his bomb on the bus that he was on. She was left 3 children to feed and begin looking for job opportunities; no one accepted her. An idea came to her when she was weaving a basket and while weaving, she thought about her husband, her children and the women in her neighborhood who were in the same situation.
Fatima, like her widowed neighbors did not want charity; they wanted assistance. Nguyen-Reed discovered their many talents of weaving baskets, making jewelry and home décor items and even paintings and contacted her sister in the States.
After much research and months later, the sisters formed JANAN COLLECTION and organized art exhibitions to showcase and present 30 Iraqi women’s beautiful art and selling their art to help these women in need.