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Where there is a will, there is a way

A bird flying over a valley

Scene from (beautiful) Taiz, Yemen

Scene from (beautiful) Taiz, Yemen

“I used to have no plans and I would spend my time at home uselessly after marriage,” says Anisa Al-Matari from Bani Mater district in Sana’a governorate. Anisa only attended school until eighth grade, when she dropped out. “I miss attending classes and learning,” she says.

Since 2015, conflict in Yemen has drastically increased the country’s unemployment rate, as many businesses have had to close. Anisa says: “Prior to the war, my husband used to have a source of income and life seemed promising. But everything changed when the war broke out. He felt devastated and distracted, although he is a hard worker who always tries to seek out opportunities.”

Anisa and her husband struggled every day to meet their family’s needs, so she decided to break her monotonous routine. She started thinking about learning a skill to help her husband and sick mother. “Through doing some courses I learnt how to make perfume and incense – I always believed that women should not end up doing domestic work, but I didn’t have the means to start a small business,” she says.

CARE implemented a training programme called Springboard, funded by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Through the programme, Anisa received trainings in financial skills, life skills and entrepreneurship.

“I joined this programme and not only did I receive a grant to start my dream business, but I also attended lectures on how to depend on yourself and how to start your own project regardless of its size,” says Anisa. She started making perfume and incense and sold some of her products while attending women’s events and occasions. “My husband is my right-hand and has always encouraged me and helped me to market my products.”

While her husband sells the products in the market shops, she tries her best to sell to neighbours and visitors as well. Her husband buys the materials, keeps track of the profit and teaches her basic business skills.

“I always refer to my husband when I sell my products because he knows how to manage the financial matters.” Some people try to discourage Amisa by telling her that her products are available everywhere, but she never listens to such negative voices and keeps working hard to improve her business. “I am proud of my success and I hope I can expand my business to reach other governorates of Yemen. The bigger the business, the better the income for the whole family. I also hope CARE will continue supporting us.”

She says with conviction: “Thanks to CARE, I will never stray from my goal. I always have positive thoughts and believe that my products are the best in the market. Where there is a will, there is a way.”



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