Happy women and their success!
On 20 July 2020, towards an inclusive, resilient and green recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, seven women partners with technical support from ILO Turkey and the financial assistance from the USBPRM, Limited Liability Meryem Women's Initiative Production and Operation Cooperative was founded.
Following its foundation, the Cooperative has not been only widening its scope of production but also widening the number of the members by including mainly the refugee women members who are keen to make an impact in their lives; grafting away every day by creating, producing, contributing and earning.
The significance of this cooperative is that, with its 135 women in its training and production facilities, it is one of the first Green Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) Cooperatives founded in Turkey and the only one that has been modeled based on the inclusion of local municipality as a stakeholder in its establishment for stronger presence and sustainability.
It has four main production areas:
The first one is agricultural production, Adana Metropolitan Municipality (AMM) has allocated 60 decares of farmland to the cooperative. On this farmland, the training and the production are led by 3 agricultural engineers, and the vegetables are produced by 60 participants with the guidance of the agricultural engineers. Moreover, the cooperative has 3 decare greenhouse in which vegetable seedlings are grown from seeds, on this farmland. It also has 90 tons rainwater harvesting pool which partially meets the required water for the irrigation systems. In addition, the cooperative is planning to build a solar power system to use recycled energy for its needs on the farmland.
Agricultural production also includes mushroom cultivation. The cooperative has a mushroom cultivation greenhouse based in a facility provided by AMM. The cultivation work is run by 15 participants with the guidance of an agricultural engineer.
The other production units are face shield and surgical mask production as brought at the center of our lives with pandemics. With the cooperation of the Cukurova University Teknokent, the cooperative produces face shields, covid keys, and souvenirs unique to Adana with 3D Printers. The production is run by 15 participants with the guidance of a product designer. The surgical masks are produced by 45 participants with the branding of the cooperative. In production, 3 textile engineers guide the manufacturing process in a facility allocated by the AMM. In this facility, the surgical masks are produced in line with WHO’s minimum standards and Turkish product monitoring system (UTS). The machinery in the facility has the capacity to produce 60 masks in a minute.
Today and every day, as ILO Office for Turkey, we will keep chasing up for decent work opportunities and social justice by leaving no one behind and advocating and working for a greener world.
This implementation has been funded by the Decent Work Opportunities for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey and funded by the United States Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (USBPRM).