“Money in Exchange for Work”: An Initiative to Integrate Women in Ariha’s Market
Within the frame of its efforts to empower Syrian women, the Syrian Foundation for Human Care and Development (MASRRAT) is about to finish its three projects under the “Money in Exchange for Work” plan in the city of Arhia, rural Idlib.
The “Money in Exchange for Work” plan, which started in 2018, with the participation of “NPA” organization and in cooperation with the Ariha City Council, includes three training courses: “Sewing Pajamas,” “Sewing School Bags” and “Manual Wool Knitting.”
Khaled Tako, the project manager, told Enab Baladi that the project targets a number of Ariha’s women, pointing out that a marked percentage of the beneficiaries are widows, who are also breadwinners; another part of the targeted group includes women who have been displaced to the city of Ariha.
The “Sewing Pajamas” project is planned for five months; it started in January to end next June; the project includes 100 women trainees, in addition to ten sewing women trainers with a supervisor and a follow up and evaluation employee, who are also women.
As for the School Bags project, it is planned for two months; its courses are run during April and May. It includes 80 women trainees and eight bags’ sewing trainers, in addition a supervisor and a follow up and evaluation employee, who are also women.
The Manual Wool Knitting project includes 80 women trainees and eight wool knitting trainers, in addition a supervisor and a follow up and evaluation employee. This project’s duration is about two months; they started in April to end next June.
According to the director, the project, “Money in Exchange for Work,” aims to provide beneficiary women with a chance to learn the professions of sewing and wool knitting; accordingly, it seeks to help them find jobs in the future, as to support their families by getting their daily needs, in addition to the income they are managing to achieve throughout the project.
The trainer earns eight dollars for each working day, while the trainee earns five dollars a day, according to Khaled Tako.
The project concludes its actions with the distribution of pajamas, children’s bags, caps and scarfs to schoolchildren in Ariha, especially the first graders in elementary schools.
The Syrian Foundation for Humanitarian Care and Development (MASRRAT) is active in Northern Syria. Among its programs, many are directed to empower women in society. The most important of these programs are the scientific and professional rehabilitation of women to participate in the developmental process and the creation of economic opportunities for women, in addition to creating and designing women-specific projects to empower them socially and to sharpen their training and leadership skills.
The number of widows among Syrian women is, due to war, on the rise, leaving them with many challenges to face, on top of which is the need to financially support their children and families, which made them liable to exploitation in the labor market, for their efforts are used for the least possible wages.
Accurate statistics about the number of widow women in Idlib governorate do not exist; however, the Local Council in the city of Kafr Nabl confirms that the number of the widow women in the city alone have exceeded four thousand women, out of 13 thousand women who live in the city.