Like many Yazidis, Naleen and her family are no strangers to hardship. When they fled their home in Sinjar in 2014 to escape ISIS, one of her daughters was left behind with her uncle’s family. To this day, Naleen does not know where she is. For the last six years, Naleen and her family have lived in Kobarto 1 Camp in Duhok. While living at the camp, Naleen lost her husband to cancer, leaving her to care for their 12 children on her own. With scarce resources, Naleen relied on neighbors to collect money to help her cover the funeral costs.
Now as a single parent, Naleen thought that starting her own business, specifically a minimarket, would help her care for her family and provide for her community in the camp. Without the financial means, however, the idea of starting her own business remained just that - an idea.
With support from USAID, Naleen has received the funds to start her own minimarket and is being coached on how to run it successfully, including how to procure the necessary inventory to keep products on the shelves. With business picking up, Naleen hopes to someday soon be able to fully provide for her family, including schooling and medical expenses.
Her older son, Ahmed, helps procure goods and run the business with “We never dreamt that one day we would have our own business!” Like his mother, he is excited, thankful and hopeful for what stability and opportunities the business will bring for their family and know that the business will be able to move with them back to Sinjar if they wish to return.