With Anera’s support, West Bank women are able to build a business and a future for their families
Hajer lives near Salfit, in the Palestinian West Bank. The mother of seven helped her husband build a shed to raise chickens to support the family. Two of Hajer’s four sons attend college and need to pay tuition. In Palestine, formal tuition loan opportunities are rare so students overwhelmingly rely on their family networks to cover costs. But then her husband passed away and she was left without any savings.
“When my husband died, our family fell into poverty,” she says. So Hajer asked for support from Anera and its program partner, the Ministry of Social Development, to develop her chicken farm.
Anera’s Women Can program, funded by Islamic Relief USA, supports Palestnian women-headed families in the West Bank — some 12 percent of households. Anera helps this vulnerable population to generate their own income. The program includes training in job skills and business management as well as providing the tools to carry out their chosen professions.
“I told them I already have poultry cages, so they gave me 180 hens. I borrowed some money and bought more and now I have 500 chickens,” she says.
Hajer’s chicken farm is a five minute walk from her home. “I usually go there at six in the morning to check on my chickens and feed them.” Hajer gets support from her children too.
Hajer and one of her sons return in the afternoon to collect and package the eggs for sale. They add vitamins and salts to the water tanks as needed. “We also put out more feed and water and take care of any chickens that might be injured.”
The chicken farm has been a life-saver for Hajer and her children. “I can rely on myself and take care of my children’s needs. I can also cover all our basic needs, like food and clothing and electricity.” There’s a bonus too. “There are plenty of eggs for my family.”
Hajer says she can collect 15 to 19 cartons of eggs a day. “We've made agreements with nearby grocers and they come here to pick up the eggs. I can sell a carton of eggs for 12 to 16 shekels ($3 to $5). I have a dream that my project will grow and my kids will finish college to carry on the business."
“I can rely on myself and take care of my children’s needs [and] also cover all our basic needs."
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.