After two major injuries, Ahmad could no longer work as a manufacturing tailor. Living in Jordan as a refugee, he’s received training and resources from Humanity & Inclusion to build a successful business from home.
Originally from Syria, Ahmad was injured in the crisis when he leg was struck by shrapnel from an explosive weapon, leaving him with a physical disability. Later, he fell from the third floor of a building, breaking a vertebra and causing severe tendon spasms and pain in his leg. At the time, Ahmad had been working as a tailor for a clothing manufacturing company, but the pain in his leg made it difficult to leave home and impossible to continue the long hours his job required.
“During this time, I received strong support from my family—especially from my wife, who worked as a volunteer to stay by my side while I could not work,” says Ahmad.
Now 29, Ahmad lives in Jordan with his wife and three children, two of whom also have disabilities.
Starting a business
Ahmad’s first contact with Humanity & Inclusion’s teams was through rehabilitation services to reduce his pain and increase his mobility. He was later referred to Humanity & Inclusion’s livelihood support activities to identify employment opportunities.
“We visited Ahmad at home to learn about his economic situation and his skills,” explains Shaima Anabtawi, Humanity & Inclusion’s inclusive livelihood officer. “He explained that he wanted to improve his English skills, understand his rights as a person with a disability, increase his ability to communicate and learn to better integrate into society. He also showed a great interest in continuing tailoring, and wanted to start his own business. We developed an individual action plan based on the assessment and his aspirations.”
Ahmad had only attended primary school, where he learned to read and write, but his education had stopped there. Ahmad began training courses designed to support his business plan, budget development and teach him how to be self-employed. Throughout the process, he also received coaching, mentorship and financial assistance from Humanity & Inclusion. With that support, he purchased a sewing machine, scissors, an iron and fabric. To reach more customers, Ahmad also learned essential computer skills to promote his products online through e-marketing and social media.
Ahmad in his home sewing studio with one of his children during a visit with Humanity & Inclusion staff.
Today, Ahmad operates his own sewing business from home. Initially, he planned to make only blankets, bed covers, pillowcases, and Arabic sofas, but he is now expanding his business to include women’s clothing. Only one month after starting his home business, he was able to buy a second sewing machine for his wife. They hope to work together to continue growing the business and meet more orders as a team.
The income he receives has enabled him to purchase a walking frame and cane to help him move around. He is also proud that he can make some changes for his family.
“My previous house was small and there was humidity in the walls, which is not healthy for my children,” he explains. “After selling enough products with my home business, it gave me the push to change my house. We now live in a bigger, healthier house than before.”
Ahmad plans to share his success with his community as well.
"Currently, I have an agreement with one of the local organizations to teach sewing and tailoring to women, and I am happy to support anyone who needs help in sewing,” Ahmad continues. “I am very grateful to Humanity & Inclusion for supporting persons with disabilities.”