In spite of the fact that, until recently, they were strangers to one another, three women from Al-Zuhra district have come together to form a successful business partnership. Hanan, Nada and Fawzia met as participants in the Enhanced Rural Resilience Yemen joint programme.
According to the programme model, after 20 days of training in business planning and management, participants receive a grant of US$900 and are guided and supervised as they establish their own small businesses.
Upon completion of the programme and having conducted a feasibility study, Hanan, Nada and Fawzia decided to establish a kindergarten. This, explains Hanan, “has been running since mid-November 2017 and has become very popular among the locals.”
Fawzia elaborates, “The kindergarten consists of two sections: the child care center, which accommodates 70 students between the ages of 4 – 5, and the playground, which accommodates 40 children between the ages 4 – 12.”
According to Nada, “We divided the school tuition fees into 3 instalments per student: US$4 per month for academic tuition fees; $6 per month for playground fees; and $9 per month for transportation fees.” This, she says, produced “good financial returns, so we were able to recruit two teachers, one cleaning person, one driver, and one guard.”
Together, the three plan to launch summer classes in English and computer literacy for adults. In addition, says Hanan, “We are working towards upgrading the kindergarten to a private primary and secondary school and our staff are excited to pursue their academic career in it too.”
The Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY) joint programme is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Food Programme (WFP) in the Yemeni governorates of Hajjah, Hodeidah, Lahj and Abyan. The three-year programme aims to enhance the resilience and self-reliance of crisis-affected rural communities through support to livelihoods stabilization, food security, local governance, social cohesion and improved access to sustainable energy. UNDP works in partnership with the Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF).