Domari Culture and Craft Experience
This project gives an opportunity for Dom women to gain practical skills in hospitality, build their confidence, earn an income, and celebrate their culture. The income from this project is used to further the impactful programs held at the Domari Community Centre. It is the goal of this centre that Dom people become independent, confident, integrated members of society and to promote cultural heritage. Furthermore, travellers will get the privilege to learn about the unique Dom culture and history, many of whom may have never heard of this culture before. The Domari Society continues to invest time and resources into recording the Domari language in writing, which can help preserve a language at risk of being lost.
The Dom (Gypsy) community, located in Jerusalem, face regular discrimination for not being fully integrated into the Israeli or Palestinian societies. Dom children often have lower education levels than other children in Jerusalem, and the women are often underemployed.
The Domari Society of Gypsies was created as a direct response to this need, opening a Community Centre focused on providing support to children and vocational skills to Dom women. This is also a space for the endangered Domari language to be shared and culture celebrated. Further, the Domari language is spoken and not written. As the Domari cultural identity has weakened due to continued discrimination, many youths have not learned the language.
Planeterra supported the Domari Society to create a tourism experience for travellers. For this, a dining area was prepared for travellers to enjoy unique Domari food and culture. Women were trained in hospitality and storytelling, preparing them with basic English skills to better communicate about their culture to travellers.
Further, the handicraft shop at the community centre was improved to promote a better shopping experience for travellers, better supporting Dom artisans across the city.