Faten is a refugee who fled Iraq for Jordan with her husband. She was unable to continue her work baking because of a heart condition and so was left without a source of income. Frustrated and unable to find work in Jordan because of her refugee status, she turned to NEF and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration’s Enhancing the Economic Resilience of Displaced Iraqis and Poor Jordanians program. In this program, Faten learned to make perfumes from her home to make a difference in the daily lives of her and her husband.
As the name suggests, this project was designed to benefit both the host population of Zarqa and the Iraqis living there. The program teaches a variety of valuable vocational skills, such as leather work, perfumery, and sewing. It also teaches participants how to capitalize on these skills by starting small businesses of their own. For the Jordanians, they are given a startup grant based on business plans they create for themselves, using what they learn. For Iraqis, they receive a small assistance grant to help sustain them until they find their new homes.
The program not only empowered Faten to advance herself and her husband, it gave her a feeling of pride and independence as she sustains her livelihood with dignity.