Hanan’s first job
Jerash, Jordan - "My name is Hanan, I live in the Gaza refugee camp in Jerash, Jordan, and I am a mother of five children. My story begins with my participation in the training for women organized by AVSI ".
Hanan is one of the 629 beneficiaries of the "Aamal" project, implemented by AVSI Foundation and OXFAM thanks to the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). The initiative took place between April 2017 and June 2018 in Lebanon and Jordan, and focused on vocational training and social inclusion of vulnerable young people.
In Jordan, the project strengthened the soft skills – namely transversal skills such as leadership and effective communication – and the technical and professional skills of 151 Jordanians and Syrian and Palestinian refugees. At the same time, public and private sector’s actors were involved in the project, such as the Vocational Training Corporation (VTC) and Sitti Soap, a social enterprise that provides refugee women with decent job opportunities in the soap industry.
Hanan and the other 150 beneficiaries’ experience began with their participation in a session of life skills – i.e. skills such as empathy and stress management – that helped her to embark on a path of self-awareness and understanding of the other.
"The training has helped me both personally and professionally," Hanan tells us. "I feel I am a better person now, and I would like to help others around me to improve themselves, starting with my family and my children".
As many other beneficiaries, Hanan had never worked before. Prior to her participation in “Aamal”, she had mainly focussed on taking care of her house and children in the "Gaza" camp on the outskirts of Jerash – an ancient Roman city 50 kilometers north of Amman.
After the life skills’ session, Hanan started a vocational training at Sitti Soap, learning how to turn olive oil into various kinds of soap. "I wanted to prove myself, so I started the soap-making training. Before I was just using the soap, now I am producing it!"
Thanks to the project funded by AICS, Hanan also had the opportunity to meet new people and forge new social relationships, especially with "my ten sisters with whom I participated in training".
At the end of the vocational training, Hanan did a two-month internship in the same social enterprise, during which she was followed by a mentor. The mentors of “Aamal” periodically visited the factories, shops and workshops where the beneficiaries were carrying out their training to monitor their presence, make sure that they were not facing problems with their employer or with the assigned tasks and that these would match the skills recently acquired.
"Now I work with Sitti Soap and I feel part of the enterprise". After her internship, Hanan was offered to continue working with Sitti Soap for 20 hours a week, so as to give her time to take care of her children.
"Aamal gave me a chance to make my dreams true", concludes Hanan. This is why she wants to thank AVSI and AICS for "giving me the great opportunity of participating in this project".