Nadia: From a household to an owner of a small utensil shop

Nadia Sarhan: one of the emergency employment project beneficiaries

Nadia’s store is located in “Al Hosha” municipality /Mafraq Governorates. Through the folds of the narrow road, a visitor notices the store as a room adjacent to the nearby house. Both (the house and the store) stand as a witness to the story of enabling a woman to develop her own business and support her family financially and morally as well. The visitor can recognize in her face, Nadia’s pride with her success, while she continues to organize the goods and chat with her customers.

our financial situations prevented us, for example we went to a trip to the amusement park and also we spent a holiday in Aqaba from the profits, I also got many items for the shop from there

Celebrating the opening of her store, Nadia says: "Some people may think this room is a simple place compared to other stores, to me, it is a dream comes true. One day it was an idea, and today it has matured to become an integrated project. I still remember the telephone call in which I was informed that my application was accepted to participate in “Emergency Employment project- a UNDP’s initiative" which is funded by DANIDA and WFP and implemented in collaboration with the National Microfinance Bank (NMB).

Before joining the Emergency Employment, Nadia’s - the mother of three who got married 10 years ago, life revolved solely around the house chores, during those years she isolated herself and never tended to create any friendships with her neighbors, not even meet them. Nadia says: "I suffered intolerable loneliness, my world was bounded by the house walls as well as my ambition. My days were similar, I can summarize all the years will two words: "house chores", soon I lost interest in almost everything around me, even stopped taking care of myself. I dwelled into my financial limitations, wasn’t able to realize that there is a prospect for a better future. Even on the family level, I did not feel I am a partner in decision-making whether regarding family or children matters. "

Nadia is of the 100 volunteers who have benefited from the “Emergency Employment project (3X6 approach)”. In its first phase, the project aims at providing community voluntary work. Through the phase, participants are engaged with voluntary community service projects, and undergo a special set of trainings, crafted to provide them with life skills, self-development skills, financial management skills, and strategic thinking, empowering the participants with necessary skills to manage their own future businesses.

Her participation in “Emergency Employment project” was her first step to fulfill her dream, Nadia tells her story: "I first heard about the project through relatives in another municipality, once I learned that it has arrived to my municipality I immediately applied. Unfortunately, I wasn’t shortlisted. One day I received an unexpected call informing me I was selected to replace another who withdrew, and the journey started”. Upon joining the project, Nadia had to challenge her family to enroll in the voluntary work, "the opposition was mainly concerning family arrangements, where would I leave my three children during my absence. Since I volunteered at the "Summer Camp", I enrolled them in the camp, we went there and came together every day. problem solved! "

During the voluntary period, Nadia got the opportunity to make a lot of friends amongst her neighbors, although she was their neighbor for the past 10 years, she never had the opportunity to meet any. Also Nadia employed her new time management skills - which had a significant impact on her house management and on her private business later. Among other skills she acquired children management of different ages. “my children have noticed the positive difference in my attitude towards their various needs at home".

Nadia pitched for her private business and received funding from UNDP to establish it, her business was to sell households items to residents of her area. She wasn’t tempted with the quick profit, she preferred to keep competitive prices taking into account her community’s fanatical capabilities. Nadia says: "at the start I worked from home, brought some goods from different providers, and resell them with negligible profit to avoid adding burden on my customers. My success quoted my husband’s interest, it also left quite an impression on him when I started to take off his heavy burden and assist him in the family’s financial responsibilities. We became true partners! He helped me to build a room next to the house to become my store, afterwards I completed its construction from my profits.

Nadia’s participation in the project had significantly impacted her life and family, "I became concerned in family and myself, and today we are true family, we enjoy spending family times together, something that we have longed for. However, our financial situations prevented us, for example we went to a trip to the amusement park and also we spent a holiday in Aqaba from the profits, I also got many items for the shop from there. "

Today, Nadia aspires to utilize all the skills she gained from the emergency employment (3X6approach) project to the extent, and apply the strategies on her business, Nadia says: "I have opened a bank account for the store, and I am now working on finalizing my papers to acquire a trade name and register my company officially, preparing to expand my career in distant and remote areas within Irbid. Am also completing a plan to become the main distributor of these areas, "she says. "I have realized the meaning of life and happiness through this experience, and have realized that the new Nadia had gone a rough road to reach where she is today. The project gave me the opportunity to know my creative abilities and employ them in practical manner to benefit my community and my family. Today I look at the past with a smile knowing that the best is to come, God willing.”