In the words of Nidal Abdul Ghani: “It had been a long time since I felt such joy. I will finally have a job!”

Date: Monday, July 8, 2019

Nidal Abdul Ghani is one of the 196 women in Iraq who have benefitted from UN Women’s cash-for-work programme. Photo: Courtesy of Tajdid.

Nidal Abdul Ghani is a beneficiary of the cash-for-work programme implemented by Tajdid Iraq Foundation for Economic Development (Tajdid). Tajdid is working in partnership with UN Women on the Regional Programme “Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls and Host Communities in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey”, funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (the EU “Madad” Fund). Since 2018, 196 women in Iraq have benefitted from cash-for-work opportunities. Ultimately, the EU Madad programme aims to support women to be more self-reliant and resilient to the hardships of life in displacement.

“I had a tranquil and happy life with my husband who worked in the Iraqi security services. In my eyes, he was the best husband. We also had good children who worked in the police. We lived in a nice house. All of this came to end in 2014 when the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) arrived in Mosul. 

They wanted to destroy us. They wanted to kill us, so we will remain forever afraid of them.

One day, thugs broke into our house and took my husband and two children away from me. In their eyes, they were unbelievers. Since that day, I do not know if they are alive or dead.

We had to leave everything behind and seek safety in another neighborhood. We have endured the extreme cruelty of war. We lost our livelihood. The only son who remained with me has a disability and needs permanent care. I was also left with the wives of my missing children and my grandchildren, who did not have a breadwinner anymore. They all lived with me and I could not provide for them. 

Thanks to charitable people, we were allowed to live in an abandoned house which belonged to one of the families that left the city. But the situation did not change much because I didn’t have money for my son’s treatment or for food.

One day, I heard a neighbor talking about a women's center run by Tajdid and I immediately went there. They received me and listened to me with a lot sympathy. They told me that the center would find me a job as soon as possible.

Seven days later, they came to my house to get information about my family. They told me that they had found a job for me as a cleaner at a local hospital. It had been a long time since I felt such joy. I would finally have a job and be able to buy food for my family.

After the first week of work, our condition improved a lot. I was able to buy my son’s medication and to go grocery shopping for my grandchildren who had been eating poorly.

Their smiles returned to their faces. Despite what we have been through, having an income has solved many of our problems. I hope that I will continue working and keep the smile on my family’s faces.”