Fatima's Journey of Transformation in Lebanon


Fatima's Journey of Transformation in Lebanon

In the tranquil village of Al-Ayrouniyah, nestled in the northern reaches of Lebanon, lives Fatima, a 52-year-old Lebanese farmer and mother of five.

"I want my children to learn that life's challenges can be overcome with hard work and perseverance."

Fatima’s life took an unexpected turn when she found herself widowed at a young age, left to navigate the complexities of single parenthood without a stable income.

After the death of her husband, roughly ten years ago, Fatima found herself playing both the role of the mother and father to her five children; a daunting responsibility made even more challenging by her lack of formal education, having left school at the age of 15.

Using the car that she inherited from her husband, she transported students to school, ensuring her own children’s access to education despite her inability to afford bus fares.

Through her resourcefulness and assistance from her family, Fatima managed to save enough money to purchase a cow, aiming to provide daily nutrition for her family while also seeking opportunities to generate additional income.

Despite the daunting responsibilities that lay before her, she refused to give up.

"When my husband passed away, I knew I had to step up," Fatima says.

It was Fatima’s enrollment in a comprehensive program offered by Relief International in January 2023 that proved to be the turning point in her journey. This fifteen-day program, implemented in collaboration with the service provider LAID, provided technical training for livestock farmers like Fatima, offering invaluable insights into modern farming practices.

"It has been a transformative journey that has served as a guiding light and instilled hope and vitality into my life," Fatima reflects, her eyes alight with newfound confidence.

Embracing the support of Relief International, Fatima not only honed her farming skills but also gained access to vital resources such as vaccination and medication for her cows. Armed with knowledge and equipped with essential tools, Fatima’s farm began to flourish, paving the way for increased productivity and sustainability.

“My children have learned the importance of hard work and resilience from watching me and now my son helps me on the farm daily,” Fatima states proudly. “They understand that despite the hardships, we can overcome anything as long as we stick together and never give up.”

Fatima’s journey from grief to self-empowerment serves as an inspiring story of resilience, illustrating that with the right, trusted support adversity can be transformed into opportunities for growth and strength.

Fatima story isn’t over. She plans to expand her farm and purchase additional cows, unlocking her potential even further.

The ‘Livelihoods and Resilience Support to At-Risk Lebanese and Syrians in North Lebanon, Akkar, Bekaa, and South Lebanon’ project is generously funded by BMZ, in collaboration with the World Food Programme, and implemented by Relief International. This intervention aims to foster the active engagement of women and at-risk populations within the dairy value chain, aiming to enhance their livelihoods and ensure food security.


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