Fashion Forward for a Better Future

Speeches Shim

Friday, April 9, 2021
Khalaf Yousif selects different pieces to stock his new clothing shop in Khanki Camp in Duhok

Khalaf Yousif and his wife were haunted by their escape from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Living in an IDP camp, they struggled to find a sustainable livelihood. Without a source of income, Khalaf, who suffers from heart disease and anxiety, had to rely on donations from family members to survive.

When Khalaf met with USAID’s business coaches, he felt that he finally had the tools he needed to succeed. Through targeted questions, Khalaf identified an untapped opportunity in the IDP camp, a clothing store. 

USAID helped Khalaf pay to open his new shop and mentored him on business and inventory management, marketing, and basic financial literacy. With support from USAID, Khalaf was able to respond to a need of his community while also earning a living to support his family. 

As he sifted through racks of the latest styles of clothing at the market in search of new inventory for his shop, Khalaf could barely contain his excitement, “Because of this business, I can now forget what happened to me and focus on my future.” With his shop up and running, Khalaf is proud to finally be independent and looks forward to continuing to grow his business. 

This story was made possible through USAID's funding to the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund, which supports the recovery of innocent victims of war. To learn more about USAID and the Marla Fund, click here.  


Last updated: May 10, 2022

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