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Supporting Syrian Women

 

Through the Conflict Response Fund, we invested in opportunities for Syrian women and girls to rebuild their lives. 

A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria nearly ten years ago has turned into a full-scale civil war. The violent clash between government-backed forces and protesters has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, devastated cities and forced the flight of millions of Syrians to safety. With the resurgence of violence in Syria, women and girls are more vulnerable to brutality, sexual violence, and conditions of extreme poverty.  

Since 2020, we've acted through our partnership with Women Now for Development, a local organization in Syria, to provide women with resources for a better livelihood. The organization trains, educates and supports Syrian women by providing courses at centers on the outskirts of Idlib and the countryside around Aleppo.   

Through our Conflict Response Fund, 417 women and girls to date have received vocational skills training in sewing, computer maintenance, pastry and soap-making, and were offered online classes in Arabic literacy, English language skills, and math. 

In September of 2022, we launched the pilot project of our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations Program in Syria, as part of our partnership with Women Now for Development. This pilot project aimed to serve 250 vulnerable women in the Mare'a area of Aleppo province in northwest Syria. 

Our program and these courses focus on helping women and girls gain marketable skills, earn an income, and support their families. After completing vocational training, women were also given small grants to start their own businesses. 

Women like Amra, who like millions of Syrians was forced to flee her home because of the deadly conflict. 

Amra had always wanted to work with computers, but living in a camp for internally displaced persons and being responsible for her family's livelihood restricted her options.   

“I’ve always had a passion for technology and dreams of working to provide for myself and my family.” 

“But as a 25-year-old Syrian woman far from home and living in a camp, it was difficult. So, when I found out about Women Now, I enrolled in a computer maintenance training course.”   

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A woman participates in vocational training course, where she is taught digital accounting, Microsoft Office, and Photoshop. These skills will help her earn an income and support her family.

Photo Credit: Women Now for Development

After graduating from the program, all of the participants in the computer training course received a laptop and wireless mouse. A few months after classes ended, Women Now followed up with Amra and discovered that she had begun her own computer programming and maintenance business in the Idlib camp. Amra shared how she goes from tent to tent helping other women fix their computers, install anti-virus software and make their own websites.    

“The training was great. My neighbor’s laptop broke down and I was able to download the drive and fix it. I started helping my friends create their own Facebook accounts and their own emails. I also used a proxy to work around bans on Google apps by using the tools I learned in the digital security course,” Amra told us. “After learning about computer software I really want to learn more about hardware, so I’d like to get some more training in that.”   

“Amra is an inspirational example of the power of women to achieve their ambitions in the toughest circumstances,” says Zeina Kanawati with Women Now. “Our partnership with Women for Women International has empowered women and girls affected by conflict in Syria, and the story of Amra’s success makes us more determined than ever to continue our work.”

 

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For 10 years Syria was the world’s largest refugee crisis.

According to UNCHR:

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6.6M

More than 6.6 million Syrians have been forced to flee their country since 2011

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6.7M

Another 6.7 million people remain internally displaced

“What of our unfulfilled promises?”

In May 2022, Women for Women International surveyed women program participants across three Syrian refugee camps in the KRI (Kawargosk, Darashakran, and Basirma). The goal was to better understand the experiences and challenges Syrian women refugees currently face in order to identify support mechanisms and allow them to voice their concerns to the international community. 

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Your donation will help provide Ukrainian war survivors a safe space for rehabilitation as well as medical care that includes psychological and gynecological consultations with doctors.