In the words of Amira, a Syrian refugee in Jordan: "The Oasis journey has not only enhanced my skills but truly empowered my life."


Interviewer: Mahmudul Karim

In the words of Amira, a Syrian refugee in Jordan: "The Oasis journey has not only enhanced my skills but truly empowered my life."
Amira, a Syrian refugee learns stitching at the Taibaa Oasis Centre, a UN Women initiative in Karak Governate, Jordan, on 11 February 2024. Photo: UN Women/Mahmudul Karim

Amira, a 37-year-old Syrian refugee, living in Karak Governorate, Jordan, leads her household of four children while her husband lives abroad. Through her participation in UN Women’s Oasis programme at the Taibaa Oasis Centre, she benefitted of a newly established Financial Literacy training organized in partnership with Central Bank of Jordan, the Expert Bankers Association, the Association of Banks in Jordan, and the Social Security Corporation, with support from the European Union “Madad” Program. The training has given her new financial skills which she plans to use to improve her recently opened small business.


At the Oasis Centre, I have been engaged in a six-month tailoring training program, which is nearing its completion in just a month. This journey has been transformative for me, significantly enhancing my tailoring skills to a professional level. I now operate a small tailoring business from home using my own machine. This has not only allowed me to support my family financially by serving our neighbors but has also allowed me to teach my daughter these valuable skills.

Earning my own income has given me incredible empowerment, a sense of security, and independence that I hadn't experienced before. I am proud to be an example of self-reliance in my community, and I passionately advocate for all women to explore the Oasis Center's possibilities.

Moreover, the program has broadened my knowledge beyond tailoring; I have learned about banking operations and interest rates, which is critical as I plan to secure a loan to expand my business into a larger enterprise. These financial literacy skills are essential, not just for business, but as tools of empowerment that allow us to make informed decisions and pursue greater opportunities.

Since I never had the chance to pursue formal education, I fully understand the challenges it creates. I encourage skill development and basic education for women in our community. We need the ability to read, write, and communicate effectively to truly engage with the world and advocate for ourselves and our families.

I dream of seeing my children well-educated and successful, free from financial struggles. My other dream is to see my growing business flourish into a sustainable venture. Although there's still some way to go, with the skills and knowledge I have gained from the Oasis Centre, I am hopeful and motivated to turn these dreams into reality." she said.

The Oasis Programme has been instrumental in empowering women like Amira, particularly those navigating difficult situations. Her story underscores the transformative power of investing in women's empowerment and skill development, illustrating how these initiatives not only foster financial independence but also enhance community resilience and reduce vulnerability to violence.

Amira is a fictional name as the character of this story requested that her identity not be made public.

Since 2012, UN Women has established 22 centres across Jordan to provide Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian women with safe, inclusive spaces. The Oasis centres have provided crucial cash-for-work, skill development, and early childhood services to more than 30,000 people, including many women with disabilities. The initiative focuses on addressing gender barriers, promoting economic empowerment, and enhancing protection against gender-based violence.