"What happened was the beginning of prosperity and (economic) relief for me and a many other women."
En’am Ibrahim Al-Haj Ali, 64 years old, from Jordan
My story is like that of many other housewives; I take care of my house and my family and practice hobbies in my spare time, knitting wool and making traditional embroidery and dressing them to my children to keep them warm. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are currently facing some financial challenges.
Therefore, I decided to do everything I could to overcome these challenges. So, with the rise of every morning-sun my hands would spin and knit pieces of wool that I sell to meet the needs of my family, and even though the income I would make would not be enough to meet those needs most of the time, we still have to stand strong against the obstacles and hardships, and strive to raise and support our children.
At that point, I was invited to participate in the community integration and protection project activities for older people, which is implemented by the National Association for Family Empowerment in Irbid – Al Barha, at the Dar Al-Yaqeen Foundation and funded by HelpAge International in Jordan. When I received the invitation I said to myself “I have to go. I’m so exhausted and bored after spending all this time in due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Perhaps the boredom inside me will dissipate at least a little”.
The first activity was interesting for me. For the first time I felt that someone cared about educating older people about their rights and focused on their active and continuous role in the improvement and embitterment of their households and communities. I was happy with what I heard and encouraged to share with the participants my experience in knitting products to provide for my family.
When I told them, I received a lot of positive comments and encouragement from everyone, they even asked me to bring some of these products. Indeed, the next day I brought some pieces with me, and was surprised that all of them were sold because everyone liked them and even asked for more. I, the housewife, now became known as “the lady who knits wool products and makes traditional embroidery”.
It was a great start for me and many other women, as I began to have good marketing; many of us received orders for shops, which greatly improved my income. So, I decided to help a number of women who are going through some difficult living conditions and asked them to work with me.
I feel so happy when I participate in these activities, as they have opened new doors for me, which reflected positively on my psychological and financial status. Such activities help raise the level of knowledge and education of older people, allowing them to make new friendships, gain knowledge and release the negative energy that some of them may have, which also helps improve their quality of life.