“I don’t need help from anybody anymore“ - PIN helps Syrian women strike out on their own

Published: Oct 8, 2021 Reading time: 2 minutes
“I don’t need help from anybody anymore“ - PIN helps Syrian women strike out on their own

Given the prolonged nature of the conflict in Syria and its impact upon every aspect of life, it is no wonder that for many families, aid became a life line and the only real means of survival. That being said, the most common and enduring message we receive from the communities we work with, other than their hopes for a swift end to the conflict, is the desire to return to a state of self-sufficiency.

We recently spoke to Ftoon and Malak, two Syrian women who joined over 140 other participants of a recent PIN project in northern Syria, hoping to learn skills and work their way towards this goal. Their testimonies demonstrate how, just with a small amount of support, families can get back on their feet. All this through three simple steps: Learn, Produce and Trade.

“The first advantage of the project is that it is based on our own efforts. I don’t need help from anybody anymore. I can say it loud; we refuse to rely on others. So this project helped us push forward,“ said Ftoon.

“I used to process and make food items such as cheese, but I did not know how to do it well. When I learnt how to make cheese, I was more comfortable making it by myself,“ said Ftoon, who no longer relies on food vouchers. Like all the participants, Ftoon was from a household led by women.

Our food-processing activities aim to enable women in northern Syria to get new skills, produce, and learn how to sell their goods. Practical trainings last five days and are followed by additional support activities and follow-up trainings on business management and promotion. To ensure future success with their businesses, PIN connected participants with market stakeholders and organized a trade fair to meet local grocers.

”If we visit them in their shops, hopefully, they will be more encouraged to buy our products now since they came to the event. They even had the opportunity to taste how delicious they are, and they loved our work,“ said Malak, another participant of the training. When she first joined our course, she was afraid of failure. “I did not imagine I could process foods and sell them successfully,“ said Malak: ”When I started processing foods working with my own hands, and earning money, I understood the value of work better than before.“

Thank you to the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) for funding these activities and providing a dignified way for people in Syria to be self-sufficient and get back on their feet.

Author: Joseph Shawyer, Markéta Zemánková

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