Lebanon: A livelihood program to support vulnerable families
Première Urgence Internationale mobilizes its teams to bring support to local populations and to address the refugees’ needs. The INGO intervenes on a livelihood and protection program, to help vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugees recover their economic independence.
Suzanne is a 38 years old Lebanese, mother of 7 children, who lives in a humble house in Tal Meaayan, in the Akkar governorate. Her husband, a bus driver, suffers from a disease that prevents him from working all the time. Until now, the income of their family was relatively below the essential living standards. They couldn’t provide the basic needs for their children.
Suzanne came first to Première Urgence Internationale to register for cash assistance, that the NGO provides to vulnerable families to avoid eviction threat. The humanitarian teams also explained her about the livelihood program, as part of the protection mainstreaming developed by the NGO. They referred her so her family could benefit from this livelihood program.
“Finally my dream came true: I have my own career”
A few months ago, Suzanne enrolled in the cooking training, hoping she could fulfill her dream of being a chef, on one side, and to provide her family’s needs, on the other side. “Finally my dream comes true: I have my own career!”
The training gave Suzanne a purpose. She was trying to learn as much as she could in each session, helping her colleagues with no hesitation, even outperformed her class, which gave her a certain sense of pride. At the end of the training, Suzanne was selected for an internship in a restaurant, which helped her to a far extent. She also got tools for cooking for her home (stove, mixing machine, etc.). “I was so happy I got this far in cooking! Now, I feel ready to practice my passion.”
“The best thing was being able to buy my kids new clothes”
Step by step, she started to bake some cookies and do some pastries for her relatives and neighbors to introduce them to the quality of her food, so the word about her tasty food could be spread out. Bringing her more customers hence more income. “The best thing was being able to buy my kids new clothes for Eid and to see how happy they were”, she said.
In addition, Suzanne was able to buy medication for her husband and pay back their debts. “It felt like I’m free of a burden I carried for so long”, she said. Suzanne, the full-time mother, is now a business owner who turned her life around in a way she didn’t think was possible.