A New Chapter in the Lives of 40 Women in Tarik ElJdide
Last February, a promising local development hub emerged at the heart of Tarik ElJdide, one of the most populous neighborhoods of Beirut and home to a quarter of a million of people. Four months earlier, UNDP and Makassed have come together to turn the Ward AlMakassed center into an all year round income-generating space empowering vulnerable women in Tariq ElJdide and its Palestinian Gatherings, through training, marketing and sales activities.
A microcosm of the social fabric of Tarik ElJdide, Ward AlMakassed has helped 40 women from neighboring Lebanese and Palestinian communities overcome barriers to economic participation, by providing them with a four-month intensive training on food preparation, artisanal handicrafts and beauty care. Thanks to the people of Japan, many trained women will also have the chance to market and sell their product and services through the rehabilitated outdoor restaurant and exhibition area in the center. For many others, Ward AlMakassed is a crossing point to confidently enter the job market or even use domestic spaces for income generation.
“27 years ago, I had to leave my work at a leading bank in Beirut to take care of my three children, sick father and blind brother. I found myself living isolated from everything; I was locked in sorrow. Halfway through my cooking course at Ward AlMakassed, I felt confident enough to present my vegetarian kitchen: ‘Mom & Dad Daily’. I already have over 160 likes on my page on Facebook. I am not going to stop here; I will soon take a marketing course to further develop my brand.”
“Two years ago, I participated in a short training on head lice treatment and basic haircutting techniques provided by UNDP. Since then, I earn monthly 150$ on average, dressing and styling hair of neighbors and friends in the Daouk Palestinian Gathering. This income constituted a great leap forward to my family of four. When they announced the trainings at Ward AlMakassed last August, I applied for the artisanal handicrafts course, hoping I would invest in a new skill, and therefore a new source of income.”