Bedryyah’s life hasn’t been easy. Living in a Jordan refugee camp with eight children and no husband forced her to start with nothing. Absolutely nothing. But the 47-year old Syrian managed to take her life in her own hands and she is now not only feeding her eight children, but also that of her community. From her own simple small kitchen, she’s selling her tasty food to people she knows, organizations and bazaars.
“I was always famous for my food in Syria. When I lived in Za’tari refugee camp in Jordan, my neighbours said they really loved Syrian food, so they asked me what I could cook. After a while, they started bringing me items and asked me to prepare meals for them, and that is how it all began.” Through business trainings that she got from CARE, she learned how to get more customers to her kitchen and how to market her products. And now she’s achieving her goals.
“My children are happier. Today Ayat, my fourteen-year-old daughter, was telling me how glad she is that her life is better than that of some of the other classmates in school.” It has always been Bedryyah’s dream to be able to work outside the house and provide for her family.
When the people in my village offer me positive feedback for what I am doing, I feel like one of the proudest people in the world.
But that wasn’t always an option for her. Bedryyah came to Jordan as a refugee, after she was forced to leave her homeland of Syria. Her husband is currently awaiting asylum in Germany. In the meantime, she takes care of their own six children and the compassionate Syrian decided to look after her husband’s two children as well. This leaves her with eight mouths to feed, something she is very much capable of doing right now. And Bedryyah is convincing other women to rely on their abilities as well.
“There is no such thing as impossible and everyone is capable of working. Yesterday a Syrian woman called me and told me that she was incapable of working. I told her ‘nothing is impossible, think of what you are good at and do it!”
The women that participate in the program are affected by conflict, poverty and discrimination. But with a strong will and perseverance they are able to pursue their dreams. Just like 56,000 other women from 11 different countries worldwide that are also part of the program. They have been supported with the access to tools, knowledge, skills training and funding to start up or expand their businesses, thanks to the partnership that CARE has with the H&M Foundation.
“The program has made my life better. I don’t need anyone to pay the rent, my electricity and water any longer. I taught my sister and aunt to cook as well. They weren’t able to cook at all, but now they’re even better than I am. This way, we are able to expand our business. It makes me feel good that I can help them.”