A Father for Syria's Families

Refugee Families in Jordan

A father of six children, Fathi* and his family are among many Syrians who have fled to survive the ongoing danger, no longer able to generate income in the war-torn land. He was always a hard worker and ached to provide for his children, so they entered Jordan. So many others like him with the same idea had already begun to take a toll on the Jordanian economy, so we knew GHNI needed to get involved, but how?

We met Fathi when he enrolled his children in an English program. He learned about our desire to help families like his find a long-term solution to their newfound poverty, so he told us in Syria he was known for his jarred pickles. He asked if we could help him start a business selling pickles to Syrian-run restaurants in the area, so we enrolled him in our Vocational Training Program (VTP).

Pickles in the Middle East are a side dish to almost every meal. At the time we began talking to Fathi about his business idea, it was early summer and Ramadan was very close. During Ramadan Muslims fast during the day and then have a breaking of the fast meal in the evening. Many people order large quantities of food from restaurants during this month of observance. The timing couldn’t have been better, so we told him if we had the funds, we would provide a loan and training to support his goals.

By August, Ramadan had concluded and Fathi’s pickles brought in enough income to pay back the loan and cover the rent for his family’s home! As the first Syrian refugee to take part in our VTP, we were excited for his success. This gave us confidence we could help more refugees through this program.

Fathi’s story does not end with his own success, however. By the time fall fell to the cold of winter, Fathi had another idea. What if he could help reach out to his fellow Syrians taking refuge in Jordan to help them become self-sustaining, also?

We loved the idea, so Fathi became what we call our “Man of Peace,” and when he’s not making and selling pickles, he’s helping us find other Syrian families to be a part of the program. Our GHNI Jordan team reports, “He is a hard-working volunteer looking for families to help. He is now working on transforming his community the same way he was transformed.”

*For purposes of security and well-being, "Fathi" is a pseudonym of the person being helped by this project.