“Since we were displaced from Aleppo, I haven’t felt that strong and independent…”
These are verbatim words of Mrs. Abeer, 37, displaced from rural Aleppo with her family, consisting of her husband and two sons.
Her husband suffers from frequent heart attacks and is unable to work due to the deterioration of his health condition. Therefore Mrs. Abeer was the only breadwinner for her family, and had to play several roles in the household and community, which forced her to work in cleaning houses to secure her family’s sustenance.
After the family moved to Jaramana, Rural Damascus, Abeer got acquainted with the Beit al-Aman Community Centre of the Syrian Society for Social Development, through a neighbour who attended the Hear-My-Heart PSS sessions at the CC. There and then, after the SSSD team was informed of the woman’s living and social situation, the PSS case-manager referred her to the Small Business Start-up Grant Programme and, in turn, the programme focal point proposed that she attend the training in Entrepreneurship.
Abeer showed enthusiasm and agreed to go through this completely new experiment. When she had completed the training, her feasibility study was presented to a specialised committee composed of SSSD and UNHCR representatives. Her small project, a Home-based Sewing and Repair Workshop, was duly discussed and approved.
Thus, the project was eventually launched. Later on, we paid her a visit, waiting for the good news. During the visit, Abeer expressed the positive impact of the project on her life and character, telling us how she had turned into an independent woman who was now able to address challenges and stand for her rights.
Abeer had become a producer and was able to provide for her family and the daily and school needs of her children. Harmony with her husband had increased and calm and peace prevailed in the household, after the atmosphere was constantly tense.
She also shared with us her joy when she was able to buy a diesel heater after her children had been facing cold, only to find blankets to keep them warm.
After saving further money, she bought a refrigerator to preserve the food and was able to rent a larger house.
Now, she is trying to save more money in order to rent a workplace and a new house that resembles the house the family had fled in Aleppo.
In her own words, “The total change in my character is positively affecting my whole life… I wish all people could benefit as much as me and change their conditions for the better.”