Idlib: Small Factory Provides Women with Monthly Income
Walidah works in the field of food production in a small factory to make a living for her children and have an income to help herself raise them, in addition to mastering a craft, the products of which she can see displayed in Idlib’s local market.
“I started working for the Food Products Factory in Kafr Nabl [Southern Idlib] a year ago, after an announcement by the local council, which aimed at encouraging women breadwinners, who lost their husbands in the Syrian war,” Walidah, dubbed “Um Ali” told Enab Baladi.
“Um Ali” is a mother to five children, one of whom is sick. She looks after them alone, after she lost her husband for detention, six years without knowing his whereabouts. Her house was targeted by shelling several times and was helped by her neighbors to renovate it.
Under the evaluation it made for 2018’s needs, UN estimated that 69% of Syrians are living below the poverty line.
The project, for which Walidah works, started a year ago in Kafr Nabl, funded by the Syrian “Ihsan Relief and Development”. The project targeted 20 women, divided into two production departments, in a factory that produces canned food, mostly dairy products and a few agricultural ones.
Walidah described her current status as good, compared to her situation prior to work, after the massive suffering it endured while trying to meet the needs of her family and household and the absence of income.
Today, she sees herself as an active productive woman, spending on behalf of her family through a monthly income generated by her work, though it is not enough generally, as she put it.
“Today, I possess significant experience in the production of food-related materials, dairies, various type of jams and others, after the supervising team taught us the profession, its details and the fastest and most accurate way to implement it,” “Um Ali” said.
Engineer Nidal Khatib, the organization’s project manager, told Enab Baladi that “the first goal to the project is to provide job opportunities to a segment of people, considered socially vulnerable, which is breadwinner women, including widows, divorcees and wives of detainees and men with disabilities.”
The women were trained, and their skills were sharpened in the field of food production, and, through this project, several products are manufactured, including dairies, butter, yogurt, cheese and Arabic ghee, in addition to jams, pickles and different types of olive.
This simple factory is divided into two departments; the first is called the Ghouta Center and the second is called the al-Jabal/Mountain Center. The staff consists of 20 women, originally from the region and others displaced, who the organization chose according to their families’ needs.
The organization aims to expand the project via the small revenues it makes, after distributing the remaining shares to women workers and the Administrative Committee, as symbolic monthly salaries.
“The women beneficiaries get 30.7% of the sales’ value, the Governance Committee receives 16% and the rest, 53%, is allocated to the factory’s fund as to keep it in action,” Khatib said.
The project covers the areas of Kafr Nabl and those surrounding it in southern Idlib. The organization also reported that even if the funding is cut, the production can expand the work or at least keep the factory running, which is the team’s plan for the simple revues it makes.
“Ihsan Relief and Development” implemented several projects that contribute to providing breadwinner women with an income, the last of which was the small trade projects that women executed this month.