When trials turn into opportunities Stories

10 December, 2021

Nadia’s name is fictitious, but her story is real. Nadia is a middle-aged woman living on the outskirts of Ramallah and Al Bireh Governorate. She is married with six children. Despite the mental and physical abuse that she experienced at the hands of her husband, she was able to maintain decision-making authority over her and her children’s lives. The trauma and suffering experienced by Nadia made it no easier for her to ask for a divorce out of fear of losing her children, as well as the social stigma associated with being a divorced woman.

Realizing that economic independence could be a way out of her situation, she joined the Generating Revenue for Women and Youth (GROW) project in 2019. As part of GROW, she completed trainings in business planning, advanced coaching, including product development, marketing, pricing, food safety, and packaging.

Nadia’s skills in production and product diversification improved remarkably. When she began her journey with GROW, in 2019, she owned five sheep and was producing dairy products, such as milk, cheese and labneh – a traditional cream cheese. Her production levels were relatively low and so was her income. The training opportunities she benefitted from helped her develop a business plan to expand her dairy production. She received a small grant of $1200 CAD in July 2021. Using the grant, she ventured into producing dessert. As a result, Nadia’s average monthly income increased from NIS 500 (approximately $200 CAD) to NIS 2,000 (approximately $800 CAD). Nadia became the breadwinner for her family.

The GROW project team recently met with Nadia and commended her on her increased self-confidence, which has helped her stand up to her husband and protect her children. Her livestock has grown from 5 to 13 sheep, and she sells her products in all the neighbouring villages. Nadia’s courage and determination to provide her children with a decent standard of living is inspirational.

“I don’t need my husband’s financial support. I provide enough money to my family. I assure my children daily that I am here to provide them with all their needs. The physical burden has multiplied as I wake up at 4 am and finish work in the early evenings. However, it is all worth the while, and I am proud of where I am today.”, said Nadia

In addition to the direct financial support provided through GROW, the project has also helped Nadia and other beneficiaries with information about various service providers for victims of gender-based violence.

Learn more about the Generating Revenue Opportunities for Women and Youth in the West Bank project.

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