Khaldye's Kitchen: A Place for Hope


Khaldye's Kitchen: A Place for Hope

Khaldye, a 50-year-old Syrian mother of four, was forced to flee her home with her family and nothing but a few belongings in 2013.

She once enjoyed her role as a homemaker in the place she called home. But life changed overnight when she found herself navigating life in a camp with her family, confined to a restricted area after she was forced to leave her legal documents back home.

Khaldye learned agricultural work to support her husband. She moved between camps, gaining experience in planting and nurturing, even offering tailoring services for additional income.

In 2019, things took another turn when Khaldye’s husband suffered a work-related injury, leaving him with spinal disc herniation. With her husband unable to contribute financially, Khaldye took on the responsibility of the sole income provider, turning her passion for cooking into a source of survival.

With only primary education and experience in agriculture and sewing, Khaldye looked for opportunities to generate income. It was then she met Relief International, as she joined the “Livelihoods and Resilience Support” program. The program, through life skills, vocational training, and career counseling, transformed Khaldye’s vision of her future.

The team helped her overcome self-doubt, supporting her with the confidence to take her venture to new heights.

"The project activities shaped me into the individual I am today.”

Khaldye shares. She recalls how her children initially worried about her joining the training and the workload, became her biggest supporters. “I used to come home from training to see my children more excited than me to learn about what I have learned for the day.”

As part of the work-based learning program, Khaldye gained hands-on experience in food safety at a local hotel, which included a mentor from the business who was specifically designated to support her progress. Before long, Khaldye was picking up more responsibility at the hotel and layering on her culinary skills. Eventually, she started selling food from home, improving her technique and quality day by day. As her confidence and customer base grew, so did the vision of her owning her kitchen one day.

"Now, I am confident, outgoing, and skilled in ways I never imagined. The project gave me the power to pursue my dreams and the resources to turn them into reality."

Khaldye’s journey doesn’t end here. She is on her way to making her vision of owning a small kitchen or restaurant a reality, determined to shape her future and inspire her children. She reminds them every day of the importance of exploring new skills and persevering toward a better future.

The “Livelihoods and Resilience Support to At-Risk Lebanese and Syrians” project is funded by BMZ with the support of the World Food Programme and implemented by Relief International. The intervention aims to promote the active participation of women and at-risk populations in their communities with the ultimate goal of improving their livelihoods and food security.


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