Raja is a mother of three from Hama, who lost her husband in the violence taking place in Syria. Many women in Syria are dependent on males in their families, but due to the war, many of these men are no longer there to support their families.
These widows are left to fend for themselves, and with the help of a foundation called Matar, this has become possible. Matar was founded in 2011 and provides a way for widows to earn a living and start new lives.
Matar teaches widows in Syria handicraft skills, and helps them create colorful embroidered accessories, crocheted, knitted, and sewn blankets, coasters, and coin purses. The handmade products are sold through Matar’s website to people in Lebanon and parts of Europe. Every dollar earned goes directly to the widows and their families.
Matar also provides education for children who have been displaced because of the uprising. They aim to end the cycle of poverty, empower women in Syria, and encourage them to be independent.
Thanks to Matar, Raja now earns $100 a week, which is equal to the amount a registered nurse in Syria earns. There are between 50-70 women like Raja who are able to sell their handmade products abroad and earn a living. The handmade products are very popular and in demand, sometimes selling out before the women are able to produce more goods to restock.
These women have learned that they have the power and ability to provide for their families despite the hardships they face in unpredictable circumstances.
For more info – Matar