“There are no challenges or obstacles too great for the blind. They have many opportunities but they need more support because the society has the wrong idea that the blind can’t do anything and they should just stay at home.”
Hanan is a 45-year-old Jordanian woman who sells hand woven goods to earn supplemental income to support her 18-year-old son. This is a worthy achievement in its own right, made that much more notable when considering that Hanan lost her sight when she was just 28 years-old.
In recent years, Hanan has pursued a new chapter and become a skilled weaver. And with NEF’s assistance, she turned what was once a hobby into a way to generate income.
Hanan shared that it boosted her morale greatly when she learned that there was an organization interested in helping people like her, with disabilities. Of the training, she explained, “The trainer was so good and had an easy training methodology, and NEF’s team also had a good way of communicating with me. Therefore, I continued the training and the trainer explained everything to me and there were a lot of women participating, so it felt real and not like just a hobby.” With the knowledge she gained from NEF-led trainings, and the project grant she was awarded, Hanan purchased materials she needed and started getting her products in front of new customers at trade shows, public markets, and community association activities.
Hanan is steadily gaining more customers and bringing in around 20 JD ($30) per month in revenue from her business. She said that she now makes decisions at home about how to spend her money without having to ask permission and has confidence in her decisions and home management. She expresses her desire to continue to build her business saying, “I want to reach people with my products, and that was the most important thing to me. NEF supported me very much both physically and emotionally, I thank them so much for their efforts because this experience taught us [women] how to depend on ourselves, it taught me personally that the blind can do everything we want. I am able to prove to people that I can work and be productive.”
NEF’s work in Jordan is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) and City & Guilds.
Click here to learn more about NEF’s work in Jordan.
Inclusive Livelihoods Development: Hanan from Near East Foundation on Vimeo.