Standing proudly in front of her new shop, Nadia, 43, waits for her little customers – children from her neighborhood in Bashiqa, Ninewa. A mother of two, Nadia knows the way to children’s hearts: delicious candies and homemade biscuits!
Life wasn’t always easy for Nadia. Her family spent four years in a camp in Zakho, Dohuk during ISIS’ occupation and her husband passed away shortly after returning home, leaving the family with no a stable source of income.
Nadia thought she could use her baking skills to provide for her family but did not know the first thing about starting her own business. She participated in USAID’s livelihood training program, where she learned fundamental business management skills and even learned new baking techniques to set herself apart from the competition, like cake decorating.
With USAID support, Nadia opened her own shop where she sells candy and chocolate, as well as homemade products like biscuits and cakes. “My shop is small, but I am proud to call it my own,” she said.
Through the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund, USAID is supporting victims of war and terrorism like Nadia rebuild their lives with dignity. USAID’s livelihood program has helped 17 Bashiqa residents start their own business.