New business supported by Women Can program offers supplemental education classes
Nimeh, a mother of six, is in her physical prime at 36. But her financial situation is far from ideal because she lives in besieged Gaza. Her husband’s medical condition has prevented him from returning to work. It took Nimeh several years to find work in the education field after she graduated.
To make ends meet, Nimeh resorted to giving tutoring classes at her house, although her small living space limited the number of students she could take on.
“For a very long time, I would give tutoring classes in my living room. It was hard for me to teach and for the students to focus with my young children running around,” she says.
Her earnings from tutoring from home were not enough to make ends meet.
Thanks to funding from an institutional donor, Anera was able to help Nimah turn her passion for education into a successful business venture. Through Anera’s Women Can program, Nimah received support to open a small business in the form of an educational center.
“This was a new idea for [the Women Can program] compared to other projects they usually support,” Nimah notes.
Anera also provided Nimeh with training, which included topics on marketing and project management.
“These trainings were so helpful for me to make my jump to business a success and then Anera asked me to write down all the necessities to jumpstart my business.”
“Anera provided me with screens, a laptop, desks and chairs, whiteboards, a printer, and they also provided me with the power to make a positive impact on the community,” Nimeh says.
Through her new educational center in Gaza City, dedicated Nimah is not only providing valuable learning opportunities for her community, but is also creating job opportunities that contribute to the local economy.
“Currently, I employ an English and a Math teacher, leaving me to be the head teacher.”
Her educational center has become a popular destination for students in the area seeking quality education in a comfortable learning environment.
Nimah tells us how students have to be in a good state of mind to be able to absorb learning. To do that, she says, “they have to trust me, us, the process,” adding that it is almost like solidifying the bond between a new mother and her newborn.
"They have to trust me, us, the process.”
The impact of Nimah's educational center is not limited to academic success. The positive changes in behavior and mentality of her students are also a testament to the importance of a safe and nurturing learning environment.
She cites the example of Rafiq, one of her students.
“His mother registered him here because he was misbehaving in school and at home. Since he started to attend my center, Rafiq’s mother told me she is noticing significant improvements in his behavior and academic performance. It is important for the teacher to empathize with their students and make them feel safe,” Nimah says.
“It is important for the teacher to empathize with their students and make them feel safe.”
Thanks to the support of the Women Can program, Nimah has been able to expand her services and provide a wider range of educational opportunities for her students.
“Anera has supported me every step of the way. When I first opened my center, it was during examination time. My center is next to a school, so I had many students enroll.”
Since Nimeh opened the doors to her new center, she has had some 95 students enroll so far.
By providing a safe and appropriate place for these children to learn and grow, Nimah is making a significant contribution to the community, helping to improve the lives of those who need it most, and making sure her family has enough income to ensure that her husband gets the medical treatment he needs and that their children receive the support they need.
Nimah's plans for the future are ambitious — and inspiring. In the near future she wants to expand and open an educational center for children with disabilities.
“Where such facilities are scarce, this is a much-needed service here in Gaza,” she says.
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Gaza City Governorate
In 1984, Anera’s Gaza City office opened with three staff members. It is still at the same location today, but with 17 staff members. From that location, the team manages water and sanitation, education, healthcare, economic development, and humanitarian relief projects throughout Gaza.