Toni, divorced with 2 children from Givat Olga
Today: a successful seamstress.
“If I am not for myself – who will be for me?! I come first – that’s why I succeed. When I feel good – everyone feels good.”
Toni joined the Mifne program in Hadera in 2011 while working very part time doing alterations in a clothing store, where she earned a low wage and had few benefits. Toni came to the program at a low point in her life and with low self-esteem, following a difficult divorce. Her children were also highly affected by her situation.
During the program, Toni discovered her herself, realized that she is capable and deserves more. She wanted to continue sewing, but also wanted to advance in her profession and build herself up, which she did not have the strength and ability to do on her own. With assistance from the program, Toni bought a sewing machine, slowly began advertising her seamstress services by word of mouth, and opened her own business. At the same time, thanks to the process she underwent, she approached her employer and confidently insisted, for the first time in many years, that she was entitled to a raise. And she did in fact receive one.
When the program ended, Toni was invited to take part in a follow-up workshop run by the Next Step program in Hadera. When she came to the workshop, the facilitator and the other women did not recognize her. Toni had undergone a fundamental change in her physical appearance, her confidence and her presence. For the first time, she put herself before others: “If I am not for myself – who will be for me?! I come first – that’s why I succeed. When I feel good – everyone feels good.”
After the follow-up workshop, Toni teamed up with her fellow program graduates and they together established Neshot – which is an employment leadership group for Mifne graduates in Hadera. Their aim is to continue empowering and supporting each other as well as other women in the community.
In addition to her job at the clothing store, Toni has opened her own lucrative seamstress business that has a long waiting list of clients! She also finished building a house for herself and her children – with her own two hands and without assistance. For the first time, she no longer has to rent and lives in the house of her dreams – the fruit of her labors.