Zeinab, 43, is a mother of seven living in Kofranjeh-Ajloun, Jordan. The job market is tough these days, especially for new graduates like her three daughters, which is why Zeinab had to think outside the box. “My daughters graduated from university and they tried to find jobs but they couldn’t find anything.” Zeinab realised her village was missing a gym and, with her girls having degrees in sports and nutrition, she decided to give it a try and develop a business where they would be employed. She took out a loan in 2018 and opened her gym.
“Since there weren’t any gyms in Kofranjeh, meaning there wasn’t anywhere women could go to decompress and change scenery, the turnout was good at first,” she explains. Unfortunately, after some initial success, people started realising the gym did not really offer good enough services: the equipment and the infrastructure were just too outdated.
“The charity where I took the loan told me about [an EU-funded project led by the EuroMed Feminist Initiative (IFE-EFI) and their trainings]. That same charity enabled me to grow and develop my business.” Zeinab and one of her daughters were then able to follow specific trainings that helped them step up their business. Then, IFE-EFI’s representatives “came to visit me and they assessed the situation, to see what wasn’t working and they started the rehabilitation of the gym,” she explains.
Read the full article here.
Photos: © European Union 2020, Johanna de Tessières.