Small shops in Saraqeb

Small shops in Saraqeb


The city of Saraqeb is located in Syria’s northern Idlib governorate. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict the Idlib governorate has been the scene of some of the most violent clashes of the conflict and today is targeted with barrel bombs by the Syrian regime forces. As a result of these attacks many women have found themselves widowed and as the sole provider for their families.

The Project:
This project progressed over the course of 2013, with the help of young volunteer civil activists, in the city of Saraqeb in northern Syria close to the city of Idlib. Before the revolution the population of Saraqeb was 40,000 people. Today almost 50,000 people now live in Saraqeb, of which 15,000 are internally displaced persons.
The goal of this project is to allow widowed women to continue to earn a living, despite the disappearance of their husbands. This project was actually divided into smaller micro-projects, which will be explained in further detail later.
SFD choose to develop this project after meeting with families in Saraqeb, where they were able to assess their living conditions and identify their needs. After many trips to Saraqeb, SFD identified 50 families who needed assistance, however, at the time SFD was not financially capable of supporting all 50 families. A set of criteria was developed to assess the needs of each family and to allow SFD to identify which families were more in need of assistance.
The families were chosen following these criteria:

  • The number of children (keeping in mind that children have specific needs)
  • The condition of the home (location, cleanliness)
  • The family’s other sources of revenue.

The micro-projects had three main goals. First, to allow the women to provide for their needs, second, to promote their autonomy, and third, to encourage the women to begin working as soon as possible instead of waiting and being forced to rely on humanitarian aid.
For each of our micro-projects an economic study was conducted before beginning the project to ensure the projects would progress correctly. It was also necessary to verify that a similar project did not already exist in the surrounding area, to avoid any competition and to guarantee the success of the project.
Women Now opened the following businesses:

  • Two cleaning supply shops
  • Two hair salons
  • Three shops selling clothing and shoes for women and children
  • Three grocery stores
  • A bakery
  • A workshop for fermenting yogurt
  • A toy store

This project directly benefited 80 people, largely mothers and children.
All of the completed projects were successful. Each small store was profitable for the people running the store but also for the local community who now have easy access to many goods that they need.

Project Details

  • Date: March 12, 2015
  • Categories: Suport of Income Generating Activities
  • Project Dates: 2013 to present
  • Targeted Area: Saraqeb, Idleb, Syria
  • Local Partner: A group of wives of martyrs of Saraqeb
  • Number of beneficiaries: 80 persons (mothers and children)