“I want to develop my business and perhaps in the future I will rent a place for the project.”
When we first met Nermin, 43, she was full of energy and vitality. She did not hesitate to invite us to her small house in Gaza to have coffee, share her family’s news and her growing work.
Nermin’s delightful behavior does not show the challenges she has faced in reaching where she is today.
In 2013, Nermin and one of her sons were sleeping in the street. Her ex-husband had driven her out of the house and forced her to abandon any claim of ownership. The other children still live with their father, but the situation was bad for them.
Nermin was unable to provide a home and care for her children. In addition, she was ostracized by her own society, because she was divorced. Nermin and her family joined the SOS family strengthening program to help them to be economically independent, and do not need for roaming the streets for their living. Since 2013, SOS has been supporting Nermin family with food, psychosocial support, educational support and some of her house rental so that all children can live with their mother and give them an income-generating project that enabled Nermin to build her own business.
Currently Nermin is more excited to show her work, she took us to the backyard of her home to see the store in which she keeps the cleaning supplies.
Nermin purchases the detergent in bulk and then refills it in small recycled Coca-Cola bottles, which she collects and cleans herself from all her neighbors. She goes to sell detergents twice a week with the help of her son or a rented salesman to sell to the community and shopkeepers.
“I always keep a good relationship with my customers … I make sure that every product will be sold, so that customers continue to buy from me. I hope to start selling the cleaning tools and also perhaps in the future I will rent a place to big storage “.
Nermin’s life became quite different after she joined the SOS family strengthening program. Her children are healthier and more educated. Nermin turned from a depressed woman to a full energetic and happy woman. Once she graduates from the program in 2018, she wants to be a mentor for women and their new families in the Family Strengthening Program so she can share her story and the wonderful support she has received from SOS.