What effects does the Great Job bring?

Oct 31, 2019 | Great job, Stories of survivors

The Great Job Project has been on for more than two years. During this time 55 workplaces have been created, and soon others will be open.

Many of you have probably noticed that there are no statistics availabe on our website regarding the help that we provide. We consider that the least important aspect of our work. We could draw charts and diagrams in order to show how many people have been helped through our projects. However, we do not collect such data. Often it does not make any sense. We think that help is provided when in the aftermath a person or a family does not require support anymore. So little, and yet so much. Does supplying a family with petrol for the winter can count as help? If so, should we multiply a barrel of oil by the number of family members? By applying such logic it might turn out that all organizations and foundations in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon have helped more people than the actual number of residents in a given country.

We have partly broken this rule with regard to the Great Job Project. We have put together a little summary of the main activities carried out in this particular field of our work. I will save you from looking at the poorly-drawn table I have created in Excel – preparing spreadsheets is not my main strength. I will only provide you with a short description of workplaces we have opened, and I will close it with several surprising curiosities related to the project.

Great Job in numbers

The Great Job Project has been named by the beneficiaries themselves. The first workplace opened within this framework was… And that is the problem. Several of them were created at almost the same time, including locksmith and welding workshops as well as a shop, or more accurately a stall with dried fruit and nuts. All of them were created in summer 2017 in Karakosh. It is difficult to assess which one of them was opened first, but we have decided to give this title to Adnan – a locksmith whose story I have shared several times.

What kind of workplaces prevail among those that have been newly established? In various regions of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, we have opened 8 hairdresser salons. These are relatively easy to create due to low costs and high demand. The second place is taken by a craft which in Poland is slowly dying out: a tailor. In Iraq, tailor shops are thriving. Next are small grocery and clothing stores.

Several others are on the list as well and some of them may appear weird, but from our point of view, the most important thing is that they are operating. Apart from the dry fruit and nuts stall, where we were buying pistachios last year, there are also such services as a dress rental shop and a water cart.

How to name it?

I had significant problems with workplaces that are difficult to name and categorize. So there is something that was called an “iron shop”. It is a place were metal constructions are made, such as those used for building a garage, a croft or a sliding gate. Is it a locksmith, a blacksmith or a welding shop? It combines them all, hence the “iron shop”. There is also a salad bar, a construction company whose owner is an expert in installing suspended ceilings, a stationery shop which offers phone accessories as well, and a craftsman whose main tools are compressor and paint. There are many professions in Iraq that either do not exist in Poland or are dying out.

Summary

Among 55 places that we have managed to open we could point out 4 main industries: construction and renovation (7 workplaces), services (23 workplaces), food (10) and retail (15). Out of those only two are currently not operational.

The first was a small grocery store opened for Hayiat and her 5 daughters. A few months after opening the store, whole family went to France, thanks to a program organized by Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad. It is hard to call it a failure on our part, because during this time when the store was open, the whole family had a source of income. It is also difficult to argue about their trip to Europe. A lonely woman and her four daughters spent one and a half years in captivity. The eldest daughter was in captivity more than 3 years. I had the opportunity to talk to them and saw with my own eyes what terrible conditions they lived in the Khanke Camp. In their case it was the best solution. In France, they are looked after by the Nadia Murad Foundation, so I hope they have good conditions to forget about the trauma they experienced.
Another interesting story is related to a place I have already mentioned: the “iron shop”. Its owner Muhamad has just been hired for a large international project. He is about to construct roofings for livestock crofts that are being built in Bashiqa. Does this sound familiar? Exactly. The crafts we are raising will be built by Muhamad for whom we opened a workshop several months ago with support from PG-Projekt company. This project is implemented, with our cooperation, by Rami and his foundation Gilgamesh Organization for Development and Relief as well as Shengal Charity Organization. Both organizations were free to choose suppliers of materials and services and one of their choices was Muhamad’s business, which was a small surprise for us.
Giving people free rein and trust, we manage to achieve our goals. We do not want to be smarter than them. We visited them once in several months, while they have always lived there and know their own needs better than anyone else. The dress rental shop run by Firal is a case in point. This young girl lives with her sisters in the IDP camp in Khanke. Two years ago she asked us for support in opening a wedding and evening dress rental shop. The idea at first seemed a bit weird, but we gave her a chance. In a tent inside the camp, a small business was created which has turned out to be thriving.
During my visit to Khanke two weeks ago, I went to see Frial. She was preparing a bride for the most important day of her life. Apart from rending dresses, she also does make up. Regardless of the circumstances, every woman on this day wants to look beautiful – I think every lady will agree with me. We know that people have been living here for five years. They do not know if it will ever be possible for them to go back to their hometowns and villages. They live with a hope that if such a moment occurs, they will have to be ready to rebuild their community. My friend Shamoo, whom you could listen to in the last episode of “From Water to Sand”, quickly took several photos from the wedding preparations. Not wanting to disturb Frial in her work, we left soon after.

If such a help bear fruit and if it is worth continuing – you can answer yourselves. We only provide terrorism victims with resources to put their ideas into practice and then we share the effects with you. We leave it to you to arrive at your own conclusions. If you consider our work meaningful, please do share our story with your friends or support the Great Job Project. Every penny counts. Soon you will be able to read about developments regarding supplying families with livestock and about volunteers with whom we locally cooperate.

See also:

Help is needed immediately

In a few words, I will tell you a story of one of the families which last year received livestock from us. Gawri and her children – two daughters and three sons – currently live in Khanke, in a small house on the outskirts of town.

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