Widowed Syrian Mother Finds Hope in Leather Industry as Pathway Out of Poverty

Widowed Syrian mother Fadia finds resilience and success in the leather industry, inspiring hope and transformation.

In a tale of perseverance and empowerment, Fadia, a 33-year-old widow and mother of three from Deir ez-Zor, Syria has emerged as a shining example of resilience, thanks to her journey into the leather industry.

Facing immense hardship following the loss of her husband and the injury of her eldest son in a landmine explosion, Fadia found herself struggling to provide for her family. Despite her challenges, she refused to give up hope and sought opportunities to improve her situation.

Fadia’s life took a positive turn when she learned about an economic empowerment project at the Rural Development Centre in Deir ez-Zor. Driven by her determination to learn a profession and secure a livelihood, she seized the opportunity and embarked on a journey of transformation.

Under the guidance of the center, Fadia received comprehensive training in leather tanning, marketing, and business management. Equipped with newfound skills and confidence, she set out to establish her own business in the leather industry. Today, Fadia repairs leather bags and crafts leather and wool coats, providing for her children and igniting hope for a brighter future.

Fadia’s success story is not just about overcoming personal adversity; it underscores the transformative power of empowerment initiatives in rebuilding lives and communities. Through the Joint Programme (UNDP – UNFPA – FAO) interventions in Deir ez-Zor, funded by the Government of Italy and implemented by UNDP, Fadia and hundreds of others have been given a lifeline to break free from the shackles of poverty.

| “I was living in darkness. The project was lighting my way out of poverty,” Fadia added. 

The program’s holistic approach to empowering crisis-affected households, with a focus on women, persons with disabilities, and youth, has yielded remarkable results. By providing vocational training, access to resources, and support for entrepreneurship, the program is not only transforming individual lives but also fostering community resilience and cohesion.

Fadia’s journey serves as a ray of hope, illustrating the immense potential of the leather industry to empower and uplift marginalized individuals. As she looks towards the future with aspirations to expand her business and create opportunities for others, Fadia stands as a testament to the power of determination and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

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