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Breaking stones to success

A man with a yellow Helmet

Moath is a 33-year-old father of three, two boys and one girl

Moath is a 33-year-old father of three, two boys and one girl

“Everybody is entitled to success regardless of their age, education, and how much money their family has. In fact, success comes to those who are determined and ambitious,” says Moath Salem, a 34-year-old father of three from Lahj governorate in southern Yemen.

Moath grew up in Al Musaimer district of Lahj governorate. Due to his family’s poor financial condition, he dropped out of school at age fourteen, heading to the city to find work and help his family, which consists of nine members.

“I’ve worked many jobs since I was a teenager,” says Moath. “I’ve been a salesperson in grocery stores, a waiter in restaurants and a construction laborer. I realized from an early age that I must work hard in order to help myself and my family.

“Despite the fact that I’ve been working for a long time, I’ve never had a stable job,” he says. “I’m always wondering what my next job will be. And whether I’d be able to make enough money to feed my children. Sometimes I don’t have any money for weeks, so my children would eat dry bread.”


Men working on breaking stones
Moath and a worker while breaking the stones

After years of working in the construction field, Freed decided to start his own small business using his hands and a heavy hammer. He started to manually break stones and sell them to builders and contractors who use them for construction. As time passed, Moath’s business expanded, so he hired two other workers to help him.

Through the Supporting Resilient Livelihoods and Food Security in Yemen joint Programme (ERRY II) funded by European Union and SIDA, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and CARE support the rehabilitation of key community assets and provides employment opportunities to the most vulnerable households in Lahj governorate.

Moath says: “I was elated when I heard that CARE is supporting the rehabilitation of the dilapidated road in my area. I joined other residents in my area to pave the road and earned a 33,000 YR. Furthermore, the team purchased the necessary stones for paving from me because I took the initiative  and offered the stones at a lower price so my children and other people in my area could have a better road.”

Moath was selected by his neighborhood chief to attend a three-day training on business management skills. After the training, Moath’s stone business received a financial grant of 333,000 YR. “During the training,” he says. “I learned how to run a business and manage cash and profit flow.”

“I used the financial grant to buy a stone breaker machine, which helped me increase stone production and decrease the production time,” he adds. “I’m grateful that the business is growing and I have enough money to buy food and other essentials for my family. Moreover, I feel proud to offer employment opportunities for  six workers so they can also provide a decent life for their families.”

“Moath is a caring, responsible, and respectful business owner,” says one of the workers. “We work for him, but he divides the profits between us equally. Providing opportunities for young people like him create a great impact on the community,” he concludes.

A group of men standing next to a heap of rocks
CARE and UNDP team members visiting Moath's project
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