"Life is like the sea; full of experience and expertise that never ends"
Mrs. Zeinab, 64 years old from Syria
I worked for more than seven years in Jordan sewing clothes and cooking eastern food, as it was my main occupation in Syria before coming to Jordan in 2012. My children and I were forced to move to Jordan because of unstable conditions and the war events that took place in Syria. I was about 57 years old at the time.
My husband was not able to flee to Jordan with us; he was seriously injured in the rib cage, and so he stayed in Syria. It has never been easy for us, nor for our children. We have experienced many challenges and psychological stresses, and I have become the only financial supporter for my family, which includes my three grandchildren and my younger daughter, who has Down syndrome. Seven years have passed since I came to Jordan, and I am trying hard to secure a living for my family. Despite my intermittent work, I do not have a stable income, but I am trying hard to carry the responsibility and secure basic needs for the whole family. I was fortunate to have good relationships with neighbours who helped me promote the work I do, but I often feel that the psychological burden weighs heavily on my shoulders, and I hope that there is a way to alleviate this stress.
In the last few months, I began to participate in the livelihood activities for elderly Jordanians and Syrian refugees in east Amman, implemented by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and funded by Help Age international (HAI). I am not exaggerating when I say that I am very happy to participate in these activities and share new knowledge and experiences.
In fact, these meetings played a big role in improving my emotional state and overcoming the difficulties I faced in my life. Through these activities we are trying together to find new ways to improve livelihoods and continue to provide income to support our families with the help of qualified trainers—as well as help relieve the psychological stress we feel through exchanging conversations and sharing experiences. My social relationships expanded, which will help me to promote my work and provide me with the opportunity to earn extra income.
It is very nice to find people who care about us and listen to us—as older people—and give us the opportunity to share our experiences and learn new things. Life is like the sea; full of experience and expertise that never ends and will always help us to face difficulties and challenges.