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My mother is so proud of me

A young wearing a head scarf and a head wrap

Wafa showing a customer her accessories

Wafa showing a customer her accessories

Wafa is 25 years old and lives in Aden with her family of twelve. Her father passed away when she was just six, leaving her mother as the sole breadwinner of the family.

“My mother is my hero,” says Wafa. “She managed to raise us with very little money, and even when there wasn’t enough, her love and kindness filled the gaps. When the war started it was too much to handle – for her and for us.”

The four-year-old war in Yemen has destroyed the lives and dreams of millions of people. Wafa was in her first year of university and things became very difficult for her and thousands of young people who were not able to finish their education. Many had homes destroyed or had to flee from violence.

“We had to leave our house because of the intensive fighting and airstrikes. We fled to a different area and until today we couldn’t go home because our house was completely destroyed. We left with nothing. It was extremely difficult to leave behind the house we grew up in and the memories we made, especially the precious memories we had with my father.

A woman Smiling
Wafa at her shop in Aden

“For six months the city of Aden was completely dead, but we had to eat. I decided that I was going to go to the market and sell the bread that my mother makes. In the beginning, it was very difficult because I was the only woman in the market. I used to get so many comments from people, but it didn’t matter. For me, the only thing that mattered was the happiness I saw in my mother’s face.”

As well as working in the market, Wafa also gave private tuition to children in grades seven and six to earn extra money. Both these jobs were not enough to help her continue her education.

“Whatever I did it wasn’t enough to make the money I needed,” she says. “Then one of my friends asked me to join an entrepreneurship training provided by CARE. It was a real turning point for me. First I started to learn a new occupation and made new friends; then I was extremely happy when I received a business grant to start my project – a small shop selling flowers and accessories.

“I learnt how to engage better with customers and how to market my products. My shop went from being empty to being well stocked with artificial flowers, accessories and makeup. I started making a profit. Later, I made a deal with a friend of mine who makes accessories: she makes them and I sell them. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity CARE gave me. It empowered me. My income has now increased and my shop has more variety. I was able to go back to university and today I am a student in my third year. My friends look to me as an example and my mother is so proud of me.”


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