Read Time: 6 min.
Empower Marginalized and Vulnerable Women to Become Financially Independent
Trades of Hope has partnered with this Artisan community in Jordan for many years. Over the years they’ve shared their unique personal struggles and how being a part of this community of strong women is empowering them to overcome these challenges.
Many of these Artisans in Jordan have lived the majority of their lives completely dependent and controlled by their closest male relative.
Lingering influences of ancient traditions and cultural customs have made it difficult for these women to rise above the oppression they’ve personally experienced.
Some of them are divorced, widowed, or married to a man who already has many wives.
But amidst their struggles, these women enjoy a family-like workplace as Artisans.
These are their personal stories of hope they’ve written over the years.
Fair Trade Jewelry – Job Skills Training and Dignified Income for Marginalized Women
Manal’s Story of Hope
“I love being an Artisan in Jordan.
It’s given me the opportunity to learn new things.
Working with the other women gives me a reason to get up in the morning.
We’re a family, not colleagues.
Since partnering with Trades of Hope, I’ve become stronger as a person and more confident.
Your purchase helps me pay for my daughters’ university.
I’m proud that my daughters will earn degrees. Thank you!”
– Manal, Sea Glass Artisan in Jordan
Sukaina’s Story of Hope
Working at this Artisan community has given Sukaina the opportunity to learn some English.
She has met many new women and become close friends with them.
The other women she works with help each other in many ways, and she really loves them.
Sukaina has become a stronger person because she is part of this group.
The money she earns helps her son and her daughter who are both at university right now.
She is thankful that two of her children are at university! – Artisan Leaders in Jordan
Futna’s Story of Hope
Before coming to this Artisan community, Futna didn’t work, but she wanted to work so she could help her daughter.
Futna said there really aren’t other good jobs for women in her city.
This Artisan community is a good situation for a woman because they only work with other women, and they only work mornings so they can be home to cook the afternoon meal and take care of their children.
Because of her work at this Artisan community, Futna has learned many new things.
Making jewelry, baskets and other decorations from recycled paper was a new and surprising idea to her, and she thinks it’s a really good idea.
Futna loves the artistic part of her job. She is happy that she has a job where she can earn money making beautiful things. She would like prayers for her son who needs to pass his high school exams so he can graduate and get a good job. – Artisan Leaders in Jordan
Jawaher’s Story of Hope
Before working at this Artisan community, Jawaher was at home all the time and felt very lonely.
She had no one to talk to.
She is happy to get out of the house and be with her friends at this Artisan community.
Now she goes to work and is able to provide some money for her children instead of sitting at home and worrying every day.
When Jawaher began at this workshop, she picked up the new skills from the training very quickly and that gave her a sense of pride.
Even though she is an older woman, she has a job.
Other people know that now and see that it is a good thing, not a shameful thing, for her to work outside the home.
She is able to use the money she makes to help pay for her children’s school.
Jawaher is widowed with 9 children (6 boys, 3 girls) and 9 grandchildren. She lives with her youngest children (her son is at university and her daughter is in high school). – Artisan Leaders in Jordan
Jumana’s Story of Hope
After coming to this Artisan community, Jumana’s life is better!
She has had the opportunity to learn new things, including English, a bit about computers, and how to make jewelry.
Through working and interacting with foreigners, she has learned about differences and similarities between herself and foreigners.
She has many good friends at work, and she says she is a stronger woman because of her position at this Artisan community.
Jumana isn’t just at home all the time, sad and worried about everything, but able to work and do something to better her situation.
Jumana is divorced with 3 children (2 girls, 1 boy). The money she makes at this Artisan community pays for all of the expenses for herself and her children. There is no one else helping them. She pays for their rent, food, clothes, utilities, school expenses and gifts out of her salary. – Artisan Leaders in Jordan
Alia’s Story of Hope
Before coming to this Artisan community, Alia lived in her brother’s house and worked as a babysitter there.
She couldn’t find any other work because she didn’t finish high school and most jobs required at least a high school education.
Alia is an extremely talented jewelry maker.
She has great artistic skills, and it amazes us how quickly she puts things together.
Because of her work at this Artisan community, Alia and her sisters and her mother have been able to move into their own apartment (instead of living with her brother).
Alia would like prayers for financial security. Money is always very tight, and she worries if at some point she doesn’t have enough money to care for her daughter, her ex-husband will take her daughter away. – Artisan Leaders in Jordan
Muna’s Story of Hope
Muna wanted to be able to change her life and not just be in the house all the time.
Muna says she wanted to work with this group so she could learn something new.
Also, she has met many new people, both local and foreign. She likes being with the women at work and enjoys doing her job.
Muna loves her grandchildren, and she has a lot of them!
She loves it when they come running, give her hugs, and call her ‘Teytah’ (Grandma). Muna loves to see them every day. – Artisan Leaders in Jordan
Dalal’s Story of Hope
Before coming to this Artisan community, Dalal would babysit and worked at a restaurant to make money. Both jobs were physically hard for her.
Working with this Artisan community is physically easier for her to do, and she only has to work mornings so she can be home to prepare the afternoon meal for her family.
Dalal would like prayers for her 13-year-old daughter who has physical and mental challenges.
She is on a government list to have a surgery which will straighten her back and relieve her of some of the pain she experiences daily.
Also, Dalal is feeling pressure because of her husband’s debts.
Her husband was in prison because he wrote some false checks.
He is out now but doesn’t have steady work.
People are demanding money from the family.