“I am responsible for my own destiny; A small opportunity can change the future”

Hana: From reliance on father to a successful micro-enterprise owner

Like many Yemenis, Hana and her family had depended on the income of her father.  When war erupted in 2015, many lost their jobs, the cost of living soared, and it became much more difficult for breadwinners to satisfy the needs of their families. 

As a consequence, households have had survive with less.  This can mean pulling children out of school – and this is particularly true for girl children. Currently, 36 per cent of school-age girls and 24 per cent of boys to not attend school.  Hana and her young brother found themselves among this group.

The UNDP Yemen Stabilization Programme is designed to restore and create new sources of income for crisis-affected groups, with a particular focus on women.  It is based on the belief that community recovery will be quicker and future conflicts can be avoided if sources of insecurity – including financial insecurity – are managed.

Hana was one of 390 participants in the programme, trained as a tailor and subsequently provided with a US$800 grant, to launch her own small business.  This enabled her to purchase a sewing machine and to refurbish a workshop, from which to operate.  She now earns about $120 per month and is able to provide for her family. 

Now, she says, “I am responsible for my own destiny.  A small opportunity can change the future.”

To date, 1,000 individuals have received intensive basic and advanced business skill training and every graduate has received a grant of $800.  A total of 790 micro-businesses have been established and 50 percent of the entrepreneurs are women who are now self-reliant.

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The Yemen Stabilization Programme is designed to increase socioeconomic opportunities, improve basic service delivery and strengthening community-based protection. Funded by the Government of Japan, this US$20 million project is implemented by UNDP in partnership with the For All Foundation (FAF) and Oxfam.

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