“Life had a better plan for me”

During difficult times Bushra found her true passion.

25-year-old Bushra lives with her family in Aden city, Yemen.  She is the eldest of nine siblings.

Until about seven years ago, Bushra lived a normal life with her family.  She was in her final year of high school and was looking forward to progressing with her education.  Then her mother was diagnosed with cancer and became very sick.  Soon after, her father lost his job. 

Bushra was forced to start taking responsibility supporting herself and her family.   She started accepting odd jobs to earn money.  “It was the most difficult time of my life but through this journey I found my passion.”  This is how Bushra describes her experiences during this period. Not only did she have to face family challenges – two years ago the conflict in Yemen intensified, disrupting the lives of people like Bushra, bringing violence and uncertainty.

One of the odd jobs that Bushra did was to cook food and bake pastries that she would then sell to her neighbors and friends.  She became a seasoned cook and was often asked to cook at weddings and parties held in her neighborhood.  She felt happy when she cooked and people enjoyed her food. 

Bushra believes that one moment can set life in motion and make a huge difference. The moment she was accepted into the CARE women economic empowerment program was one such moment. The project aims to empower women in Yemen to take on leadership roles and find the strength and resources to become successful entrepreneurs.

Bushra supervising the construction of her pastry shop, Photo: CARE

Through the project, Bushra received training that empowered and guided her on how to become a successful entrepreneur.  She started taking online culinary courses in order to provide her customers with delicious meals.  CARE provided her with a loan to start her own business. That made Bushra very happy. 

At first, Bushra wanted to use the loan she had received to rent a shop, but this turned out to be too expensive.  With the advice and guidance from a consultant and trainer that are part of the training program, she chose to construct her own shop.  In this way, she did not need to worry about paying rent.  Bushra’s dream came true when she opened her restaurant, which she named “River Pastries”.

“I am now earning a living from a trade that I love, and I can contribute to supporting my family” she explained. “My life has changed tremendously. I thank God and CARE for this change.”  

For more on our work in Yemen, click here.