“Basmat al-Maarra”: Training Women to Be Dairy Production Professionals

Women beneficiaries of the “Basmat al-Maraa” Project in Idlib – September 2018 (Balad Organization’s Facebook page)

Women beneficiaries of the “Basmat al-Maraa” Project in Idlib – September 2018 (Balad Organization’s Facebook page)


The “Balad” Organization (Country) continues the implementation of its project, based on training breadwinner women on the production of cheese and dairies in the city of Maarrat al-Nu’man, rural Idlib, equipping them with skills needed to start their own home-based small projects.

The “Basmat al-Maraa” Project, “Smile of Marrat al-Nu’man,” was launched on August 15. It is built on the idea of training women who fend for their families on the profession of producing the different types of cheese and dairy products, following a theoretical and a practical curriculum, according to what the Media Official of “Balad” Organization, Ghayith Yaqout, has told Enab Baladi.

Yaqout explained that the project will last for five months, divided into various workshops; each of these workshops is one month long, targeting eight women beneficiaries, while the whole project will be targeting 32 women.

The new thing about “Basmat al-Maraa” is that it offers the women trainees the equipment and tools needed for the production of cheese and dairy products at the end of the training workshop, in addition to a specific sum of money and 200 liters on milk, which allows them to start their own home-based project that provides them and their families with an income through selling the cheese and dairy products in the market.

The “Balad” Organization has signed an understanding agreement with the Maraat al-Nu’man Local Council as to start with the “Basmat al-Maraa” project, which kicked off on July 15 with the preparation and the maintenance of the place where the workshops are today conducted, in addition to getting the needed tools. Under the first workshop, the first production cycle started in mid-August, a duration through which 32 women beneficiaries were selected, according to predefined criteria.

The criteria included the following: The beneficiary must be a breadwinner, the lack of a source of fixed income, the presence of a number of children, older persons and one person with disability within the family.

According to these conditions, 50% of the beneficiaries were chosen from the women displaced to Maraat al-Nu’man, and the rest belong to the area, as one of the project’s objectives which aims to empower women who have no breadwinners, especially those displaced and escaping hot zones.

The number of women breadwinners is on the rise in Syria as a result of the casualties among men, both dead or injured, due to the war, which faced women with social and economic challenges, thus becoming vulnerable to exploitation in the labor market, where they are employed for very small wages.

The “Balad” Organization has previously launched the “Basma” (Smile) project at the city of Atarib, rural Aleppo, as to train both displaced and resident women breadwinners on cheese and dairy production. The project ended last May, after it presented its services to 30 women beneficiaries, who are today capable of producing high quality cheese and dairy products.

According to the media official at the organization, the success of the project at the city of Atarib, encouraged the organization to relaunch it in other areas in Northern Syria, where a massive number of vulnerable families live.

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