Stories From Women
As a divorced mother, Haifa had a number of responsibilities, including caring for two sons, one with epilepsy, and the other with asthma, and a mentally ill daughter. She was unable to afford a much-needed operation for an enlarged spleen. Previously able to earn some income by selling fuel near a gas station, age and illness prevented her from continuing this work. Once she started receiving direct financial aid and business skills training from Women for Women International, she was able to begin work that she could conduct from home. She made a deal with a supplier in a nearby governorate to purchase straw-made sweepers, fans, and baskets at a wholesale price, which she then sells. She has doubled her initial goal and is now regularly able to save the amount of two months rent from the profits.
Visit to Shawaka - by Irtiqa
When I received a request from sponsor asking about her sister who lived in this dangerous area where we ran away from it in 2004, because of the bad security situation, I wonder if I am going to meet her or not, is she going to remember me or her days in the program. We used to ask about them by phone or quick visit but not like this time, I search for the address and find it then we headed to the area, all the good & happy memories come in my mind the river the old location that represent old Baghdad houses.
We walked in Shawaka streets seeking for the address, we met one of the old participants who was so happy and asked if we are going to re-open the program here (regular question) she told me that we spent a good days with the program but the situation didn't let it complete and till now she is keeping her sister letter and photo with her, after long searching in there we found our targeted participants; she welcomed us and was so happy with our unexpected visit, we enter her small house and ask about how is she and what she is doing during all that period, by the way she was so active during the program, she was the first woman how make small shop to sell tomato & cucumbers & other vegetables from the sponsorship fund that she got it from the program.
She said we thought the time start to smile to us and give us the hope to get better life but the situation became worse and we couldn't continue the happy dream as in Dec. 2005 her son kidnapped he was working as bus driver and his friends told her that he went in the first way and in the second one he didn't come; when I asked why he might be targeted or kidnapped she answered that "she don't know, he was funny and laugh maybe this the reason or maybe because of his name" anyway she till now waiting with his wife and 2 kids his comeback she spent all her fortune to hear any news from him she knocked all the doors in hope that they may relief her with just few words "he is still alive".
Her house was small have no furniture just the important, like cooker, TV... etc. they are 8 member in home of area 45m2 her son married and live with her in the same home, his bed room in the roof have nothing only the closet and bed on the ground because all the 4 members sleeping there (parents and two kids) the room in the down stairs it 2 in one i.e. bedrooms and sitting room.
The home fill of Canaries and they singing all the time which very nice its one of her son hobbies.
All the time she was thanking her sponsor for all what she did for her and her friends, and was happy that she is still thinking of her all that time.
During my visit I took some photos for the area, it’s the same as we left before 5 years and as before no change the simplest thing in the area didn't change the unpaved road still unpaved only the holes increase in the as the said we are re-building the area, of course there is no electricity or sewage services since we were there they were working in it and till now didn't complete.
Question (no need to answer just think and imagine)
Did those people have time to think of changing their lives? For example: If her son want to have his own house he need a fortune; how he could have and he have no work just small shop to sell the candies and sweets to the children of the neighborhood? What a type of life waiting their kids? What is their future? Of course they are not the only family so we can solve their problem easily; there are a lot of them.