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The picture becomes beautiful

A woman holding a camera

Four and a half years since the escalation of the conflict and Yemeni people continue to bear the brunt of ongoing devastation and severe economic decline. The war has left over 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, of which up to ten million are at risk of famine. Aden is one of Yemen’s governorates that has been badly affected by the conflict and the economic decline.

Sumaya Fouad Ahmed is a 27-year-old divorced woman who lives with her family in Crater in Aden governorate of Yemen. Today she speaks about how the war has affected her life.

“Before the conflict, I was working in a company, and then the war started and I was forced to stop working. I found myself without income. We suffered a lot during this time and life was hard, but I was always thinking about a project that would provide me with income.”

Sumaya has a diploma in photography and design, and her wealth of experience in this field is what led her to think about starting a business in this area. Her dream was to have a photography studio, so she gathered her savings to try to start her photography business.

A woman in a black burqa holding a camera
Sumaya using the photography equipment in her studio in Aden

She rented a photography studio in the middle of a market surrounded by shops owned by men. Recalling the first day, she says: “I went to the shop and I opened it by myself. My heart was racing so fast my hands were shaking and I literally stumbled every time I tried to open the door. I felt like everyone was looking at me but I finally managed to open it.”

As time passed Sumaya became used to doing this, and went to open the shop every day by herself. She began to make a good income from her studio, and after a while she started to think about developing her business by looking for funding to buy a photo printer and some studio equipment.

“A year later I participated in CARE’s project, funded by the H&M Foundation,” she says. “I received a training in how to manage my business, and CARE provided me with a loan, which meant I was able to buy a photo printer and some equipment to expand my studio.”

Now Sumaya makes a good income and is able to support her family. Her daughter goes to the best school in Aden. She wants to establish a bigger photography studio in Aden, and plans in future to train young women in photography and design. “I thank CARE for supporting me,” she says.

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