“New Hope” cooperative for migrant women who find work in Italy

“New Hope” is the name of a tailor 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 began nearly 20 years ago as a way to offer migrant women, mostly of African descent, the chance to escape the legacy of human trafficking and start a new life.

“Thanks to an order for 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 girls the possibility of continuing to dream through this tailor’s shop “said Mirela Macovei. , president of the New Hope cooperative.

Today, the tailor’s shop has opened its doors to all women who want to take charge of their lives. They left their past behind, and what matters is what they do now.

One of the New Hope Cooperative workers is Happiness Ojo. “Every product here, everything we do, is all about something,” she said. “It’s like a message to other people: there is hope, there is experience, we try to explain a lot of things to people.”

From the darkness of their past to the colors of a new life. For these women, being creative with fabric is not only a way to earn a living, but it is also a tangible sign of their freedom 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 lives and their family lives, not only as mothers and wives, but also as independent women, with their own work.”

Each product in this shop tells the story of a woman who believes in the chance to start a new life, whether migrant or Italian.

Daniela Altruda, Marketing Manager of New Hope Cooperative, gave up her previous life to be part of the initiative.

“I chose to quit the marketing agency I worked for and came here to work in this co-op,” Altruda explained. “I made this choice with my heart because it’s nice to see the smile on these women’s faces again when they can take back their lives through their work.

A story behind each product, quality and beauty reflecting the dignity of work: this is the New Hope tailor shop.

Virginia S. Braud