Voices From QUDRA

Malek Abdullah Bazayah (21), Jordan – It is time for my dream to come true

“My dream was to become a professional chef, so I went to Aqaba to work in a hotel. Unfortunately, I did not find any vacancies, and since I did not have the experience to work in the kitchen, I had to work in room service and cleaning. After one month, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The hotel was closed, and I was let go. I tried hard during the pandemic to work in other hotels, but the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Jordan made it difficult for anyone to find a job. Therefore, I decided to re-study for my high school exams, but deep inside, I still dreamt of being a distinguished chef.”

The pandemic presented numerous challenges, but Malek overcame these through the skills development training provided by Qudra 2 and the local partner EFE-Jordan.

Malek continues: “A friend told me that the Qudra 2 programme provides theoretical and practical dough maker training at the Ammon Applied University College, followed by actual training in a restaurant. I felt that it is still possible to make my dream come true, so I applied to join the training. And today I have mastered making ten types of bread and many different types of pastries. I also learned about many new electrical tools and how to handle them, such as mixers, coffee makers, etc. I was also introduced to new kinds of bread that I was not familiar with before, such as gluten-free bread. Now I see that my dream is just around the corner. I finished the two-month training course at Ammon College, and I started my actual training in Beijing, a Chinese restaurant in Amman, where we make two types of bread, one from potatoes. This was the first time I made bread from potatoes, and my supervisor at work noticed my enthusiasm, so he encouraged me to learn more and started to teach me how to make Chinese food. I believe that my training in a well-known restaurant will enrich my resume and help me find a good job when the training period ends”.

Resilience Dialogue #1: The Importance of Localization To kick off our Resilience Dialogues, we discussed the importance of supporting local organizations in responding to crises with experts from across the region. Re-watch the webinar here to see their insights and recommendations.

“Vitiligo is not a skin disease but skin art!”Please, meet Kübra!Kübra (24) has vitiligo, a skin condition that made her drop out of school to escape from people making fun of her. The day she joined the painting classes provided by Seyhan Municipality’s Women’s Solidarity Centre, she realised that expressing herself through art is a form of therapy for her.Qudra 2 supports women to handle psychological trauma professionally through our cooperation with NGOs and government partners.

“Once you believe, there is nothing that can stop you. Just go for it!” says Zekiye, who fled to Turkey 6 years ago. She was diagnosed with breast cancer after she came to Turkey. She joined Turkish classes in Seyhan Women’s Solidarity Centre.
Thanks to the classes, she is now able to take care of herself and go to the hospital on her own to get her treatment. She even supports other Syrians for their translation needs.She is only one of the 500,000 women Qudra 2 has supported so far in different ways: access to improved basic services, COVID-19 support, access to information or skills training, to name a few.

Women Leading the Change
12 Women – 4 Countries – 2 questions – common challenges We celebrate their acts of courage and encourage others to take action to achieve the same in their lives! Throughout March, you will listen to their stories; hear about the challenges they have been through; and how they inspire others for a more #EqualFuture“Once you believe, there is nothing that can stop you. Just go for it!” says Zekiye, who fled to Turkey 6 years ago. She is only one of the 500,000 women Qudra 2 has supported so far in different ways: access to improved basic services, COVID-19 support, access to information or skills training, to name a few.It is your time:
Lead your life
Lead your community
Lead the world

“We are equal as long as we are visible in the community, and our needs are met equally” Qudra 2 in Turkey supports municipalities hosting many refugeesWe work in close cooperation with the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT). Gülfem Kıraç Keleş is the Project Coordinator responsible for social projects. In our podcast, we discussed measures taken by the UMT and individual municipalities to maintain and improve their basic service delivery capacity during the #COVID19 pandemic.We also spoke about the role of municipalities in building an equal future based on inclusion principles. She shares her own leadership experience, the challenges female professionals in her field face, and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world Our joint podcast held with journalists from Jordan and Lebanon.

COVID-19 pandemic should not stand in the way of working women to accomplish any tasks Mrs Al Azawy is a real example of a woman who is leading the change in her family, her job and society. In over 20 years of experience at the Ministry of Agriculture in Iraq, Mrs Al Azawy moved up the ranks to become the only woman managing a department at the ministry. In the podcast, she discussed the positive and negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in Iraq.While family and work have been most affected by the pandemic, Mrs Al Azawy highlighted that COVID-19 had some positive impact by giving us a chance to slow down the pace of life and take some compulsory rest and spend time with family.
Mrs Al Azawy emphasised the significant role of women at the ministry and how the ministry promotes women’s empowerment, for example, by ensuring that women’s participation in the design and implementation of projects is not less than 25%. This benefits rural woman, considered amongst the most vulnerable.One of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is to pay more attention to health security which should stand on an equal footing with food security and water security.

The mental health impact of COVID-19 In this podcast, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of women in Iraq and Lebanon with our partners Roaa Mahmoud Khalf, Manager and Senior Trauma Counsellor at the Amalna Women Support Centre, in West-Mosul, Iraq, and Tamam Mroue, Executive Director of the NGO Mouvement Social, Lebanon.Mrs Khalf and Mrs Mroue provided recommendations on how women can look after their mental health and stand stronger for an equal future.They advised women that to stay mentally healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, all women should create or search for free spaces and new horizons, even if they are small, that could allow them to dream and hope and carry on with their lives.

Job shadowing day Together with our partners in Jordan, we organised a job-shadowing day for three young women at the start of their careers. They spent a day with women in leadership positions in the public, private and private education sectors. The young women had the chance to gain insights into the world of work, observe leadership in practice and have their questions answered. These young women drew inspiration from women in leadership and their determination to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.