Sitti (pronounced Si-Tee), the Arabic word for Grandma, is a social enterprise that launched with one simple goal: aid refugee women through the production of olive oil soap. Since their inception, the company continues to make soap, as well as a few other products, including soap dishes, totes, travel pouches and more.
The founders, Noora Sharrab and Jacqueline Sofia, were inspired by their grandmothers craftsmanship when it came to making soap: “nothing but premium, local olive oil, and lots and lots of love.” Another motivating factor, which led to the conception of Sitti in 2014, was the duo’s desire to empower and uplift the women of the Jerash “Gaza” refugee camp in Jordan – home to marginalized Palestinian refugees. Consequently, those employed by Sitti, through fair-wage, are some of the powerful, inspiring and wise women who have persevered in the face of hardship at the Jerash refugee camp. It is the co-founders’ goal to provide them with the foundation for a self-sustaining venture.
The refugee camp
The soap, handmade with patience and care using the traditional hand-pressed “Nabulsi” method, takes a minimum of thirty days to dry before it can be distributed. Sitti's website explains that this slow, yet rewarding process, is a testament to the commitment of these women: to their family, their community, and their culture.
Outside of the workshop, Sitti is committed to supporting women and girls through education and empowerment. As their profits rise, so do their efforts to implement educational and skill-development programs, such as computer classes, English classes and scholarship programs. Their goal, here, is to facilitate the independence and freedom of Palestinian refugee women, which in turn supports their communities. The purchase of any Sitti product enables customers to both support this mission as well as empower these women by allowing them to further contribute to their family’s and community’s needs.
To learn more about the women making the soap, as well as their accomplishments and hardships, check this out.
For updates and crowdfunding campaigns, follow Sitti on Instagram, here.