A New Career Brings Stability to a Young Man and His Family

Speeches Shim

Friday, February 18, 2022
Ahmed* with a client in his barber shop in Al-Hasakah.
USAID Skills Training for Conflict-Affected Communities Project

A chance to learn a new profession and life skills sets one young man on a path for success.

Ahmed*, 19, has spent much of his life carrying the heavy burden of growing up amidst conflict. He lives with his family in Al-Hasakah, where it has been difficult for them to meet their daily needs with the modest income of his father’s work – which was lost recently after his father suffered a heart attack and had to stop working.                     

Soon after, Ahmed learned of an opportunity to join vocational training courses through the Skills Training for Conflict-Affected Communities program. The program, funded by USAID, provided Ahmed with the chance to gain new skills and start his own business. He saw it as an opportunity to support not only himself, but his family. 

Ahmed completed the basic male hairdressing course and then was selected to continue his training at the advanced level where he built on skills learned in the basic course including beard styling, hair dying, and other treatments. Following the completion of the courses, he and his classmates were given the opportunity to learn some soft skills like time management and teamwork, as well as business skills like financial management and marketing, to help them pursue their career goals and increase their chances for making profits.

“At the beginning during the basic course, I faced some difficulties and then I was able to improve my skills and learn successfully. The life skills course was important – especially that I learned how to apply suitable and useful marketing plans,” said Ahmed.

After completing all the courses, Ahmed and his fellow participants received business toolkits with the necessary tools to pursue their new professions. The kits included scissors, various brushes and combs, electric shaver, hair dryer, and more. Now, just months after completing the course, Ahmed has his own barber shop in Al-Hasakah.

“Not only have I learned how to practice a new profession and skills, but receiving the business toolkit helped me to open my barber shop. Gradually, I started to have regular customers from the neighborhood of the shop so I started to earn a living and help my father to increase our family income. I am glad that we have now at home a relaxing atmosphere and economic stability as well. I highly wish for other people to be able to benefit from this program like me,” he said.

Ahmed is just one of some 265 individuals from Al-Hasakah and Al-Qamishli who have improved their livelihoods thanks to the support of USAID’s Skills Training Program. Today, these graduates are pursuing careers in sewing, men’s and women’s hairdressing, accounting, business administration, computer networking, and mobile phone maintenance. In 2022, the program is continuing its efforts and is targeting a total 350 individuals from Al-Hasakah and Al-Qamishli to increase access to gainful employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.       

 *All names have been changed.


Last updated: September 23, 2022

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