Malika el Kadduri no longer dependent on anyone. Separate two decades ago, and with three adult children, this woman of 52 years to the humble neighborhood of Cabrerizas (Melilla) earns a living by sewing. Since its founding in 2014 of Lal the Buya, a tailoring workshop that employs women source amazigh –self-designation of the berbers– at risk of social exclusion and that works as a meeting place between a muslim with a similar background. “The sewing machine I removed the sentences,” he says as he fixes a sweatpants of his grandson. Along with seven other women, some of them survivors of male violence, has made the uniform of the brotherhood of Jesus Captive, a dozen bibs to a local shop, and guayabera shirts for a hotel in the Canary islands. “I’ve lost a lot of time”, has to refer to his time as a married woman.

“The first thing you have to do to these women is to get rid of the backpack with the load so that the work flow”, describes Mariló Navarro, educator, and social coordinator of the workshop, who speaks lens. “Are women not are on the threshold of poverty. Let us allow ourselves to be nonsense! Are mired in poverty,” he says unequivocally. The Kadduri, who was born in Nador (Morocco) and learned how to sew dresses for dolls when she was a child, he holds the rank of assistant, above the operator and below the master. When you are asked for your salary it refers to Navarro. “ € 800 per month working 20 hours per week,” reports the social agent, that after working 10 years in the Centre for Temporary Stay of Immigrants (CETI) joined the workshop in 2017. Navarro provides guidance to co-workers who need help. Many of them come derived from the area of the Woman, which depends on the Autonomous City of Melilla (CAM). “That does not leave you to travel alone or to dress or apply your makeup as you want to is a form of violence,” he says.

Malika el Kadduri, the veteran’s tailoring workshop Lal the Buya. Antonio Ruiz

Lal la Buya, which takes its name from a queen, a berber supporter of the identity of their people, there is a workshop to use with a solid customer base. It is a space that forms in pattern making and sewing to women without studies to provide an output and labor. “I got my graduate school recently,” says The Kadduri, whose younger son is in college, the medium in Germany and the greater nursing assistant. “Girl was very clever, I always said the professor. But I had to be put to work from a very young age,” he explains. The workshop depends on orders irregular and of its director, Sergio Gallardo, an entrepreneur in the fashion that lives in Madrid. Through their contacts, some famous designers such as Ion Fiz, María Lafuente or Moses Castañeyra have commissioned the manufacture of some of their collections to the workshop, which has given him visibility. This last fashion designer presented his collaboration with Lal the Buya in Casa árabe in 2015. “It serves to give confidence to future clients”, explains the entrepreneur. The workshop has charged about 500 euros for each one of the orders of these designers. Gallardo finalizes an agreement with a company for the manufacture of a thousand articles with recycled material. The Kadduri and her companions have made recently 24 suits of silk wild for a contest in Thailand.

The greater part of the revenue obtained, however, by agreement with the CAM. Lal the Buya has received an annual grant in the past three years to 75,000 euros. They are exempt from paying the rent and the light of the local, located in the district fifth, broad-muslim majority. “We would like to become a social enterprise or a cooperative. But it costs a lot,” explained Navarro, who along with the teacher is the only full-time employee –The Kadduri go to the shop eight months of the year. “I think death in this project, is the first social initiative where I work where users are engaged,” says the coordinator, prior to returning to Melilla, he worked in Sacramento for 24 years. One of the workers is Dhegbia Murabit. Understand the Spanish but communicates in rif warrior. Takes to game the djellaba with the hijab and the crease of the eye. Shown on the mobile phone a photo of when he was young in which she was not using veil. Unmarried and without children, brings hand to chin to indicate that his brother has the long beard. Since then the head is covered.

Women of origin amazigh attend a class in sewing in the workshop Lal the Buya, in the neighborhood of Cabrerizas (Melilla). Antonio Ruiz

With an area of 12.5 square kilometers and is separated from Morocco by two fences six-meters and one of three, Melilla has perceived this year 49,94 million euros with charge to the General Budgets of the State, according to the Ministry of Finance. La Rioja, with a population four times larger (315.000 inhabitants by the 86.000 Melilla), received 38,48 million. The CAM manages a municipal budget of 276.787.978 euros, according to the city Council. The Talavera de la Reina (Toledo), a town with the same number of inhabitants, is three times lower. “We don’t want to live on charity or public money,” said Navarro, who returned to his hometown to be near her mother. “What we need is not to get the production out. Since we could order the uniforms of the fire department”, proposes to. “These women sew as los angeles. You are going to save money,” he says.

Sew and talk

A dealer stops the van in the middle of the slope of the Vineyard, steep, and without an exit, where it is located Lal the Buya, a quarter of an hour walk from the plaza of Spain. Makes the delivery of a tray of arabian sweets to the workshop. Last Thursday celebrated a special day. Aicha Mohamedi, the master seamstress –also separate– who works full time in exchange for 1,200 euros, teaches us how to take the needle and sew a hem to women, imazighen (plural of amazigh) –some of them illiterate– who are part of the Association for Solidarity and Social Equality (ASIS). “How fine to be who your are I give?”, tells the dealer to Navarro, in reference to the bill. “Let her inside. Then I step to pay,” he replies. The tea break is the moment in which these women relax.

María del Mar Merzok learn to take a few stitches in the workshop Lal the Buya, in Melilla. Antonio Ruiz

One of them is Maria del Mar Merzok. Source amazigh and born in 1947, he pulls out the passport to show the christian name imposed by the laws of franco. He has worked as a cleaner and selling of coupons. As you learn to give a few stitches lists the children (12, living nine) and grandchildren (22). In the mornings he goes to school to read and write in ASIS. “I don’t care if you don’t learn anything. What matters most is that you have been cured the depression,” three of a kind the instructor who accompanies the visitors who have come to Lal the Buya. For the next day have a programado an exit to the center of birds of prey in the pinares de Rostrogordo, a place on the outskirts of the city where the melilla do picnic. “Well, we’re going to go already. I have to think about what I’m going to make to eat and pick up the kids from school”, says one of the participants in the training. The dropout rate is the highest in the country, an increase of 29.5%, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

A political issue

Many of the associations in relation with any political party. Lal the Buya pushed her Fadela Mohatar, at that time vice-minister of Women and exconsejera of Culture of the PP until may of 2019, in collaboration with the fundación Orbayu and the Ana Bella foundation, which serves women who have suffered male violence. Navarro, however, claimed never to have told him that we have to vote. “This is a social project of the city for women. What else gives me who split the initiative. To me I care about them,” he says.

The coordinator of the workshop Mariló Navarro in front of the photographs of some of the designers who have commissioned the preparation of their collections to the workshop Lal the Buya. Antonio Ruiz

Melilla recorded the highest percentage of public employees (47,8%), according to the INE. The figure in Spain is 19.4%. The presence of the military is notorious and the abundance of public bodies fills the city of flags. 53% of the population is muslim, according to the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain. Mohatar, deputy of the PP in Melilla, the last hour of the morning in the workshop. Smiling and close, greet with two kisses. “It is not only give training but work,” he explains. “We’ve sent some samples recently and Sergio Gallardo is opening doors from Madrid,” shows the both. Navarro, who is in the day-to-day, he is preparing two budgets for paths fashion companies from outside the city.

Friends woven in a workshop

The barcelona district of the Raval also houses a workshop, a textile formed by women. It is a service arrangements clothing community known as Tot a punt. A dozen immigrants help to those who need to mend some pants or sew a broken. Most of the volunteers spent the day at home to care for their children and were taking care of the household chores. Tot a punt gives them the opportunity to interact between them, to deal with other neighbors and discover their skills as they perfect the language. The foundations to achieve in the future a paid job. This neighborhood is one of the initiatives that groups FeliZiudad, the digital platform of Renault, which illustrates good practices aimed at improving the quality of life in cities.

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