ARTS or Kuchinate (crochet in Tigrinya) is a collective of African asylum seeking women living in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Female Asylum Seekers design and create crochet products for the home, such as baskets, poufs, and rugs. They also host crochet lessons, meals, and traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean coffee ceremonies.
Kuchinate is a socio-psychological project aimed at empowering these women who have found themselves in vulnerable situations - many are survivors of human trafficking, torture, and sexual abuse. The act of sitting together in a supportive and understanding environment whilst making creations rooted in African culture is therapeutic and helps the women cope with their difficult realities. Kuchinate also allows women to earn money, and interact with the Israeli public through workshops and events.
Our project is part of the umbrella organization A.R.T.S. (African Refugee Therapeutic Services), a registered non-profit that undertakes projects aimed at the rehabilitation of asylum-seeking women through a range of activities.