International Women's Day 2017

8 March 2017
Kholoud, 27 years
”I am learning how to read and right and realizing how important it is”
 
Kholoud’s family threw her out of the house when she got cancer, because they thought it was contagious. After months of searching, she found a space providing services to women and girls like her who have faced violence and abuse.  
 
“My family never came for me, but few months ago, my brother came asking me to give up my inheritance rights. I did not give in.” 
 
“I love life again. I am getting medical treatment, and psychosocial support to heal the scars that homelessness has left me with. I have friends, and more than anything I am learning to read and write. I could not ask for better support.” 
 
Hayat, 29 years
“There is nothing like regaining your confidence and setting your own goals” 
 
After Hayat’s father died and the conflict erupted, her family became too poor to support themselves. Hayat soon became a burden to them. 
 
“My family took me to this shelter because they could no longer care for me. At this point, I felt that all my dreams have been shattered and I am just a burden in this world.”  
 
“After coming here my life has changed,” says Hayat. The psychological support sessions helped me to regain my confidence. I also discovered that I am good at making handicrafts. I even contacted my mother recently and told her that I am doing fine.” 
 
Samia, 33 years 
“I fought an abuse marriage, battled 6 years of depression but now I have a new lease on life” 
 
Samia was in an abuse marriage and was thrown out of the house by her husband.  “At this point I lost my family, my husband and my kids. Life could not get any worse”, states Samia
 
“After 6 years of battling depression and wandering aimlessly, living in charitable places, I found this women centre. Here I got psychosocial support, educational classes, and I learnt sewing and embroidery.”
 
“Life feels normal again. I am now trying to gain my rights and see my kids.”
 
Hanan, 16 years old 
“I believe determination is the secret to success”
 
Hanan’s parents used to fight constantly after the war broke out due to increasing economic hardships, that it affected Hanan a lot psychologically. 
 
“The pain of watching your parents fighting is hard to endure and it really affected me, but I was determined to finish my schooling.”  
 
"I came to this women centre, to free my mind and find a way to support my family so the fighting at home would stop. I learnt to make tattoos and started selling it. Even if times have been difficult since the war, I feel I have been able to fulfil something. I depend on myself now and I help my family with the daily expenses."
 
Reham, 17 years 
“There is nothing more precious than a stable home” 
 
Reham’s dad used to beat her mum and her four siblings constantly that her mum left them. Her dad would leave them too looking for jobs. Reham, as the eldest child had to take care of her siblings and the house.\
 
“I was 13 years old but I felt like I was a mother of five children. I tried to run away many times and commit suicide, but I was afraid to leave my siblings behind. I heard of this women centre through a friend, they helped me to pursue my education and find a job. I am looking after my siblings with that, and my mum has finally come home.  I hope my mother and father can be together again. There is nothing more precious than a stable home.” says Reham 
 
Jamilia, 30 years 
“Building my skills to support my family has been my biggest achievement”
 
After the war broke out, Jamilia’a financial situation at home began to worsen and problems between Jamilia and her husband got worse. 
 
“I did my best to not lose my husband and my children, but it was unbearable so I came to this shelter, enrolled in skills building courses and went back to school. I managed to find a small job and I have come back to my husband and kids. I am supporting my husband financially. Life feels more stable now. 
 
Lamees, 32 years 
“Fighting to pursue my education has brought a new meaning to my life”
 
Lamees has six children and her husband is psychologically unstable. Due to the pressures of the war, his condition got worse and he did not let her finish her education. 
 
“I left him and lived with my family for a while. During this time, I found this women’s space. I learnt crafts and enrolled in a computer course. I feel that fighting to pursue my education has brought a new meaning to my life.”
 
“My goal has always been to finish my education, so when I went back to my husband after almost a year, I was able to convince him in pursing my studies. I am proud to say I am back in school and finishing my high school. I am planning to finish my university too.” 
 
Warda, 20 years 
“We went through the worst time in our life, but we have new life now."
 
As the fighting intensified in Sa’da, Warda and her husband had to run for safer ground. She was three months pregnant at this time.
 
“I began to bleed heavily. When we reached Amran my husband rushed me to a mobile clinic. It was too late. I had lost the baby”.   
 
“I went into a depression and was told by the doctors to go to a women centre for counselling. Here I also got to pick up new skills and learn sewing. I think I am very good at it.” 
“We went through the worst time in our life, but we have new life now, and we cannot wait for the arrival of our baby.”