Creating Livelihoods in Displacement

“Today, after four years in the camp, I have a new career.”

Most of the 67,000 residents at a displacement camp in northeast Syria were forced to flee their homes to escape war and violence. As they adapt to life in the camp, residents—many of whom were once doctors, engineers, and teachers—struggle to find employment as earning opportunities in the camp require different skill sets.

Hashem, 30-years-old, has lived in the camp for four years with his wife and three children. Before leaving his home to seek refuge at the camp, Hashem worked in the livestock trade.

“Life in the camp is very difficult for people who owned everything they needed and now have nothing,” said Hashem. “A large number of men and women are unemployed due to their inability to learn new skills suitable for life at the camp and the available job opportunities.”

To help improve residents’ financial stability and livelihoods, the Blumont team assessed available job opportunities at the camp. Based on the findings, we developed and conducted vocational trainings to build in-demand skills, including plumbing, electrical repair, carpentry, and tailoring.

Hashem joined a ten-day plumbing training, seeing it as an opportunity to earn a reliable income.

“Our trainer was very skilled and encouraged us to learn everything related to starting careers as plumbers as it a highly desired profession in the camp,” said Hashem. “I found this training to be a valuable opportunity to help me find a job.”

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Hashem attends a plumbing training session at the Blumont community center

After Hashem completed his training, he applied for a vacancy as a Plumbing Technician with a large international non-government organization with a long history operating in the camp. After several rounds of interviews, Hashem got the job and began his new career as a plumber.

“Today, after four years in the camp, I have a new career and a job with a good income that meets all my family’s needs,” he said.

From August to December 2021, 90 participants attended plumbing trainings in the camp’s community centers. As part of the trainings, participants learn how to build and run their own home-based business, manage their finances, and apply for jobs. Trainings are ongoing and continue to help residents transform new skills into successful businesses and careers.

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