Sitti Social Enterprise takes on void in mental health & wellness support for refugee women in Jordan
OAKVILLE, ON. and JERASH, JORDAN (Nov. 16, 2022) - Generational trauma and mental health has taken a front seat to conversations about refugee health and safety, from Human Rights Watch reporting to the instagram account of model and activist Bella Hadid. In an effort to address the persistent void in mental health and psychosocial support for their refugee women team members, Sitti Social Enterprise (SITTI) is turning to a global community of impact-driven consumers through crowdfunding. The campaign goal is to raise $20,000 USD to create an all-inclusive mental health and wellness program for refugee women artisans in Jordan.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to be higher among migrants exposed to adversity and refugees than among host populations.” Further research published by The Lancet, women present the highest rates of recorded Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in today’s global refugee community. At the same time there is a severe shortage of mental health professionals in Jordan - a leading host country of refugees in the Middle East Region where over 3 million refugees reside and where SITTI’s workshop operates.
SITTI’s executive team recognized the disproportionate need for mental health and psychosocial support programming. Their semi-annual Self-Reliance Index survey magnified the connection between women as the primary income-earners and elevated rates of anxiety or mental health distress. “The linkage between primary income-earners and increased stress and anxiety shows us that improved household self-reliance may support improved mental health,” said SITTI’s co-founder and Chief Impact Officer, Jacqueline Sofia. “By creating accessible wellness services in a safe and supportive environment, coupled with long-term employment opportunities, we anticipate higher rates of self-reliance.” The company’s impact extends to two community based partners (CBOs) and over 250 households in the Jerash Refugee Camp in Jordan. The majority of artisans working with SITTI are women who are the primary income-earners for their families.
“SITTI” [Si'-TEE], which means “my grandma” in Arabic, is a social enterprise, a certified women’s business enterprise (WBE) and impact-driven lifestyle brand. SITTI promotes economic inclusivity for refugee-made products that generate sustainable income for women in the refugee community. SITTI is a proud Coralus (formerly SHEEO) Venture and previous Canadian Women’s Foundation and Government of Canada grant recipient. The start-up recently received the IFundWomen x VISA She’s Next Grant and is excited to continue working with IFundWomen on this new campaign.
The crowdfunding campaign, titled “Mental Health & Wellness Retreat for Refugee Women,” includes several high-value rewards for its contributors, including private yoga and meditation sessions, exclusive campaign-only discounts to the SITTI online store, and limited-release product bundles. SITTI will release new rewards each week and will host an Instagram Live event on Giving Tuesday (November 29th) with exclusive rewards only accessible during the IG live event. The crowdfunding campaign begins November 16th and will conclude on December 15th, 2022.
Photographer credit: Jacqueline Sofia
For more information or to arrange for an interview with SITTI’s co-founders, Noora Sharrab and Jacqueline Sofia, please contact:
Jacqueline Sofia, Co-Founder, Chief Impact Officer
Sitti Social Enterprise
+1 (860) 919-8500