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Walking Together

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Anas, 17, was born in rural Aleppo. He grew up there, living with his parents and brother. His father used to work in agriculture, but as the crisis intensified in 2011, Anas was forced to leave with his mother and brother to Deir al-Zaur. His father did not wish to leave so he remained in his hometown.
Thus, Anas became the family’s sole breadwinner. The young man, who was a hard-working student, had to leave school because of the poor economic situation, so that his brother might continue his education.
Three years after they were first displaced to Deir al-Zaur, the family had to move again to rural Damascus and settled in the city of Jaramana. Here Anas managed to land a job at a plastic factory, with long working hours. He was determined, however, to pursue his education and not to let those random conditions get the best of him.
At this point, Anas heard about our community center in Jaramana through one of our ORVs. He came to the CC and began to attend day educational classes for basic certificate students while still working at night.
During the classes we found that Anas had some problems with his younger brother. So, both brothers were integrated into two separate groups of the Mentoring Program, thereby introduced to collaborative communication and peer relation. Their relationship gradually began to improve. Their mother was then invited to attend women’ sessions and was followed up by the CP case manager.
At the end of the school year, Anas took the final exams for the basic education certificate, but success was not his ally in the first time. So, he decided to intensify his efforts next time and with the beginning of the schoolyear enrolled again in the educational sessions held at the CC. This year came with promising results for both Anas and his brother… Thus, Anas had realized his first dream. Though he still has to pass the high school certificate exams with a good score before trying to realize his greatest dream: entering the Faculty of Economics.
After Anas’ success in the exam, he heard about the carpentry course (Vocational Training Program) and wanted to learn this trade to avoid being exploited as he was at the plastic factory. As he is considered his family’s sole breadwinner, he was accepted in the course and proved an exemplary trainee, fully committed to learning.
At the end of the course, his request form was presented to the Livelihood Toolkits Program competent committee in order to obtain a carpentry toolkit according to the established standards. In parallel, he was linked to a carpentry workshop where he was paid enough to meet his needs and the needs of his family.
During a follow-up visit to his place of work, the master carpenter expressed his satisfaction with Anas’ quality of work and commitment. As for Anas himself, he expressed his happiness in these terms:
“I’m very happy and feel relieved. The situation at home with Mother and my brother has significantly improved,” he said. “I enjoy my job a lot. Master likes me and lets me go to the activities at the center. I even enrolled in an accounting course so I may develop myself in this domain.”
“A man is one who, using his will, decides himself his future,” he added.