The Women of Ravanda Association (Ravandalı Kadınlar Derneği) was established by 32 women from four villages in Kilis to support the economic and social empowerment of women by selling their handmade products and providing training programs on women’s rights, ecology, and technology. The association received a grant from our Gender Equality Fund in 2021 to strengthen its financial sustainability and organisational development by employing a social media and a marketing specialist.
Read below our interview:
The Women of Ravanda Association contributes to women’s empowerment through product sales and other activities. How were the lives of your beneficiaries affected by these activities? What kind of transformation have women experienced?
In our region, there are certain seasons and periods in which we can earn income. Men earn income either from olive harvest or the vineyard and gardens. However, men don’t share this income with women, and even when they do, it is only to meet the household’s needs. As the Women of Ravanda Association, we support rural women to gain economic freedom. By selling the handmade products of our members on our website and other online platforms, we enable women to meet their own needs and the needs of their children. Women get stronger every day and as they get stronger, they become happier. This makes us happy too.
Your association generates income through collaborations and online sales. What are you doing to reach more people and increase your sales?
We see social media as a tool to increase sales and reach more people. Accordingly, we carry out communication activities on various platforms in line with our social media strategy. For example, we shared a series of posts on Instagram where we introduced our products. Similarly, we prepare content with photos to show the benefits of our products and demonstrate the stages of production. Another example is the series of recipes that we share. Our aim here is to increase our sales, visibility and interaction on social media by referencing the products on our website.
By selling the handmade products of our members on our website and other online platforms, we enable women to meet their own needs and the needs of their children. Women get stronger every day and as they get stronger, they become happier.
With the employment of a marketing specialist, we started to sell our products on online platforms such as Trendyol and Hepsiburada. At the same time, we reached an agreement with Olea Hotel, an important local market area in the city, for the sale of the association’s products.
Which organisational development areas did you focus on with the grant support you received from our Gender Equality Fund? Can you tell us about your work in this context?
We have worked to use social media platforms more effectively and increase the visibility of our association. The social media specialist that we employed organised nine trainings for our members about using social media effectively, brand awareness, social media statistics, digital marketing, and Canva. This improved social media activity and the digital communication strategy we developed with the social media specialist increased our sales and made our association more recognisable.
With this grant, we also employed a full-time marketing specialist for six months who was responsible for following up the communication between the villages and the shipment processes of the products, transporting the products between the villages with the association vehicle, and critical tasks such as partnership negotiations with Olea Hotel, and all field logistics of the product packaging process during the New Year.
How has the support you received from the Gender Equality Fund contributed to your organisation and your work? Do you have a message for our donors who supported the fund?
Thanks to the social media specialist and marketing specialist we employed with this grant, we were able to overcome the difficulties we were experiencing in communicating and connecting with the villages. We were also able to reconstruct our operational processes, and local and online marketing methods. We started to sell our products on Trendyol, HepsiBurada and Good4Trust.
Thank you very much for supporting us on this journey that we set out with the idea of building a better life for ourselves, our children and our families.
On the other hand, thanks to our regular social media activities we experienced an increase in the number of orders. The increase in our sales enabled us and the women to feel stronger. Thank you very much for supporting us on this journey that we set out with the idea of building a better life for ourselves, our children and our families.
What will be the areas and activities that you will focus on in 2022? Can you tell us about the association’s future plans?
With each passing year, we are further expanding our goals. In the future, we want to support more women and children. We plan to carry out various activities to empower women living in rural areas. At the same time, we aim to maintain the growth momentum we achieved last year. 2021 was a year in which we expanded and strengthened our sales network in Turkey. In 2022, we want to expand our sales network in the same way and offer our products for sale abroad.
About the Women of Ravanda Association
Established in Kilis, the association works to support the economic and social empowerment of women by providing trainings. The products produced by the women of Ravanda are sold in the association’s online shop and several other e-commerce platforms.