Home-Based Salon Opens the Door to Economic Opportunity

Speeches Shim

Friday, February 18, 2022
Vocational training students observe a women’s hairdressing lesson during their course supported by the Skills Training for Conflict-Affected Communities in northeast Syria
USAID Skills Training for Conflict-Affected Communities Project

A mother turns her home into a salon for a new career with support from USAID.

Rasha, 40, is a mother of six living with her children and husband in Al-Qamishli, northeast Syria.  The economic situation there has been difficult for many years due to the conflict, but recently became more challenging for Rasha and her family after her husband lost his teaching job.

“I had no other choice but to work,” she said “This was a very difficult situation for me and put me under the responsibility to feed my family and secure the fees of my children’s school education.”

In her efforts to find job opportunities to support her family, Rasha learned about the vocational training courses offered through the Skills Training for Conflict-Affected Communities program funded by USAID. 

 “I dealt with the challenge and decided to learn the profession of hairdressing after I learned about the vocational training program in Al-Qamishli,” Rasha explained.

After enrolling in the hairdressing course, she successfully completed both basic and advanced levels. During the courses, Rasha showed remarkable passion for learning and made the most of her time in order to take full advantage of the course.

“I used to spend more time with the trainer helping me at the salon so as to gain more experience about the hairdressing profession,” she explained.

She then had the opportunity to gain additional skills through the life and business skills courses offered to her and her classmates. These courses provided participants with knowledge on how to start and run a successful small business including skills in financial management, marketing, and more.      

“Learning the profession of hairdressing was my passion and attending the vocational training course was ideal for me to achieve my goal and become the bread-winner for my family,” said Rasha.    

After completing all the courses, Rasha received her business toolkit which contained all of the hairdressing items needed to get her business started – scissors, brushes, clips, hairdryer, curling iron, and more. 

“I worked hard to learn this profession. After I received my toolkit, I transformed a part of our house into a simple salon to use it to receive customers and practice my new profession,” Rasha said. “The skills that I learned in the course were important for me and helped in attracting women in my neighborhood to come to my new salon.”

“I am very grateful for all the support I received from the trainers and the staff, who were always keen to provide any assistance. I am glad that I achieved my goal,” Rasha concluded.

In 2021, the Skills Training for Conflict-Affected Communities program provided high quality vocational training courses to 265 individuals from Al-Hasakah and Al-Qamishli cities to improve their livelihood opportunities. The vocational training courses included: sewing, men’s and women’s hair dressing, accounting, secretarial skills, computer networking, and mobile phone maintenance. In 2022, the program is continuing its efforts and is targeting 350 individuals from Al-Hasakah and Al-Qamishli to increase access to quality and market-relevant employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

 

Last updated: September 23, 2022

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