"I feel like I am part of the Tahaddi family"

Tahaddi’s sewing program has played a dynamic role in strengthening and stabilizing the financial lives of participating families. Hala’s family in particular has seen their situation significantly improve. Due to her husband’s disability, Hala is the primary breadwinner for her family, an unusual and difficult position for a rural Syrian woman. After their village was decimated in the fighting, Hala and her two daughters came to Lebanon by themselves in early 2017. Hala told us, “Our house was destroyed. I was afraid for my daughters. Every time a plane would fly overhead and drop a bomb, entire families were killed together in their homes. Everyone in our village left. There was no one, nothing left. So we left too.”

Unable to pay expensive monthly rents in Lebanon, Hala and her two young daughters were nearly homeless when she was introduced to Tahaddi. Hala, a trained seamstress, was able to jump directly into Tahaddi’s advanced sewing group. Through the money she began earning, she was soon able to pay off previous debts and cover the monthly rent of a small one-room apartment she found.

Tahaddi has supported Hala beyond providing a stable income. Through the relief program, Hala has been receiving monthly food vouchers, mattresses, and blankets. At the onset of Beirut’s cold and rainy winters, Hala’s family also received a waterproofing tarp to prevent water from leaking through their corrugated roof. In addition to relief services, Hala and her family have also benefited from Tahaddi’s education services. Hala herself is registered in the English adult literacy class at the TEC, while her younger daughter is enrolled in Tahaddi’s preschool program.

Despite the challenges she faces, Hala has worked to insulate her daughters from the on-going crises around them, keeping them focused on going to school and doing their homework. Hala herself is always smiling and welcoming, with other participants in Tahaddi’s sewing program describing her as the spirit of the team. Commenting on her own experience at the sewing workshop, Hala told us, “I feel like I am part of the Tahaddi family. I feel like I am one of them, that they don’t see me as an outsider. We are all working together.”

To read more stories about Tahaddi’s long-term, multi-dimensional work, check out our recent Annual Report here: https://bit.ly/2OE5C0J

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