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Empowered to increase my income

A woman standing next to a heap of utensils

Hanan next to the newly purchased materials for her project

Hanan next to the newly purchased materials for her project

My name is Hanan Abdallah, I am twenty-five years old and I am from Amran governorate in the north of Yemen. I have five children – three boys and two girls. Life five years ago was normal; my husband was a civil servant and my children used to go to school. The five-year war has destroyed the lives and dreams of Yemenis and the situation has worsened dramatically since 2015.

Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the population – 24 million people – in need of assistance, of whom 14.3 million are in acute need including over 7 million women and girls.

Some years ago my husband stopped receiving his salary, and the cost of living in Yemen became extremely high. On top of that, one day while my husband was going home on a motorbike, a car hit him and he had to spend almost two years in hospital. We lost all our savings because we had to use the money to pay for his treatment.

We literally lost our only source of income as he was the family breadwinner in a male-dominated society. Our marriage deteriorated and we used to quarrel all the time. He beat my children every time they asked either for food or clothes. My husband suffers from a psychological problem and my children dropped out of school. I used to lock them in at home with no new clothes during Eid since I couldn’t afford buying clothing for them.

Thankfully for us, with funding from Comic Relief CARE intervened with trainings on life skills and financial support to start my own business. I was lucky to receive five hundred thousand Yemeni Riyals to start a small business making lahuwh (soft Yemeni bread), which is a skill my mother taught me when I was young.

A group of people sitting in front of a grain store
Hanan and CARE members buying crops for her business

Thanks to CARE, with the skills gained I now know how to engage better with customers and how to market my product. I have what I need and I am empowered to produce more and increase my income.

I would like to open a bank account and start saving instead of keeping money at home. I feel I could enrol my children at school to receive a proper education and buy them clothes to be happy just like their friends. I hope I can expand my business and start a greengrocer’s shop for my husband.

I hope projects like this will continue to empower more vulnerable people whose situation is even worse than mine.

Two women and a man in an office
Hanan and a CARE member while receiving cash assistance from the bank
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