Emergency jobs sow long-term livelihoods for youth in Jordan

Aya working on her sewing machine
Nineteen-year-old Aya completed sewing and entrepreneurship training through the 3x6 Emergency Employment Project. Photo: UNDP Jordan

“I had a dream since I was 10 years old to open my own sewing shop one day. I’ve always considered myself as an artist in sewing, but I never knew how to pursue my dream,” said Aya, a 19-year-old woman from Salhieh/Mafraq Governorate in Jordan.

Aya was helping her mother in sewing clothes and selling them from home, but the income wasn’t enough. I wanted to support my family especially since I don’t have a degree to help me find a job. When she heard about UNDP’s 3X6 initiative, she and her sister registered in the sewing programme, since they already had skills and knowledge in that area.

The 3x6 Emergency Employment Project is part of UNDP’s "Mitigating the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on vulnerable host communities" initiative in the governorates of Irbid and Mafraq. The goal is to promote local development and social cohesion in the host communities of Jordan.

Highlights

  • 750 young men and women have participated in the trainings.
  • 122 final projects were presented to investors.
  • 80 microbusinesses were created.

The security and humanitarian situation in Syria has displaces 12 million Syrians, many fleeing to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, including Jordan.  This larger influx of population is placing a considerable burden on already poor local Jordanian host communities and their basic social and economic services. Crowding in the local market, in particular with regards to housing and labour, means that Jordan faces real economic and social challenges.

UNDP is creating employment opportunities and developing economic recovery initiatives geared towards improvement of livelihoods and basic social services for Jordanians in the targeted areas.

The 3x6 project was valuable for Aya and her future. “During the training period, I was really delighted of the new tips and ways of sewing and embroidery I learned. I applied all that we learned in the practical session and even started to teach my mother new ways and steps for sewing.”

150 young men and 150 young women participated in the first phase of the project, during which they worked on income generating activities that respond to emergency needs of the communities. Throughout the period of volunteer work, the participants received a monthly stipend, allowing them to save the capital needed to establish their own small businesses.

About 150 participants continued to the second phase, where they were trained on how to set up and manage microbusinesses and set up plans for future projects that will contribute to improving the living standard and push the economic wheel in their municipalities.  122 project ideas were presented to the evaluation committee, which included representatives from the private sector, investors and UNDP.

“After we finished the training, we had a golden opportunity to learn how to establish, manage and sustain a small business,” recounts Aya. “I was lucky enough to be one of the youth who got the acceptance to be financed.”

Aya looks to the future now with confidence and says: “UNDP has given me the foundation to combine my previous and current skills. I even learnt how to market my business and how to make creative interests, how to deal with customers and different types of people and the most important tip is how to manage my time and tasks”.

750 young men and women have participated in the 3x6 project so far. Since its launch in July 2014, 80 microbusinesses were created in areas such as hair and makeup salons, sewing shops, chicken farms, dry cleaning shops and mini markets.

In the third phase, UNDP will support the completion of some of these projects, aiming at ensuring their durability and generating of employment opportunities, contributing to the reduction of unemployment among young people, as well as strengthening the foundations of social cohesion.

Despite the difficult situation in already vulnerable communities in the governorates receiving Syrian refuges, UNDP’s work is providing lasting opportunities for the young people in the host communities.

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