The Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem was founded in the year 2000 by Amoun Sleem, a Gypsy woman who has lived in the community for her entire life. She has seen and experienced the severe discrimination, cultural marginalisation, poverty, and adult illiteracy that the Gypsies in this area face. For example, the adult population remains largely unable to read and write because most children dropped out of school before completing their education. It was these issues, and a desire to affect change, that moved Amoun to action. She started the organisation to advance and empower the Gypsy community and preserve its unique cultural heritage through programs that provide economic empowerment, child development, and women's support. Working at the grassroots level, the centre serves the social, cultural, and educational needs of the surrounding Domari community.
Freedom of speech, education, tradition, culture.
A well-educated Gypsy community that is connected to their cultural heritage and traditional values.
To improve the living condition of the Gypsies of Israel and Palestine by providing a safe place to share knowledge, develop new skills, and celebrate their culture.
- To empower individuals through educational programs offering free school supplies, literacy courses, after school tutoring, and English language courses.
- Community development through the supply of vocational training and women’s initiatives such as handicraft or hair dressing workshops.
- To preserve the heritage of the Gypsy culture through the continuation of Gypsy art and teaching the next generation about the food, celebrations, and traditions of their ancestors.
The organisation is seeking volunteers who are open and interested in Gypsy society and willing to assist in the daily work of the organisation. They are also looking for volunteers with IT skills and a background in public relations and marketing.
Language Skills: Arabic and English
Transportation for the women and the children, fabric, and basic materials for the women’s workshops.
Youth programs and trainings
In 2005, the Domari Society opened a community centre in the neighbourhood of Shu'fat. The centre offers after-school tutoring, job skills training, literacy courses, humanitarian aid, and programs that foster cultural pride. Further, as part of its mission of women's empowerment, the centre produces and sells traditional Gypsy handicrafts, including embroidery, jewellery, pottery, and handbags to encourage economic independence and improve quality of life.