Nesreen, 35, comes from Deraa, Syria and now lives in Jordan.

Nesreen arrived in Jordan at the beginning of 2013. “We got here through Za’atari camp [where we stayed] for 2 years. I came here from Syria with my 3 girls and, when we were at the camp, I got pregnant with Aya.” Aya was born with epilepsy. Nesreen and her family had to leave the camp, and resettle in El Karak, where treatment for Aya is available. They have been living there for the past 5 years. In the meantime, one of Nesreen’s daughters got married and does not live with the family anymore.

Their financial situation is grim. Her husband cannot find work and their family has to rely on external financial support. “We get income from the UN and I also receive aid for Aya’s condition. This is the only income we have every month and it’s not enough. We are 5 people and, if we get a work opportunity, I’m the only one who works.”

I am more valued because I’m the one working hard and providing for the family. [...] It changed a lot of things at home. Before I started working, I was depressed at home…[...][my daughters] would not ask for anything, but now they have the courage to ask because they know that their mother works and has a salary.

Thanks to a workshop she registered for, however, Nesreen is learning how to sew. “I was a beginner when I started the workshop. [...] They taught us how to use the [sewing] machine, to join the thread with the needle, how to remove it, the foot motion… they taught us all of this and we started stitching and sewing.” In addition, attendees to the workshop have access to a daily allowance that also covers transportation. “I benefitted a lot from it. My daughters used to walk every day for 30 minutes in the freezing cold and rain to get to school and now they take the bus. Aya’s treatment was a burden on me, especially when I couldn’t afford her medicines. He treatment shouldn’t be stopped, so when I couldn’t afford her treatment, I had to borrow from the pharmacy. But now, thankfully, we will be able to cover the cost.” explains Nesreen.

“My hope is to work and to manage my household efficiently. I would like my girls to pursue their education. I do not want them to stay at home, like I did. [...] I want my girls to learn and become successful.”

© European Union 2020 / Johanna de Tessières

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