Before ISIS invaded his hometown of Sinjar, Marwan Khudaida, 30, was a welder. Together with his family, Marwan fled to the mountains, where they stayed for 5 years, and Marwan continued to earn a living by welding. When he returned to Sinjar, hoping to restart his welding business, Marwan found his house and workshop destroyed.
Marwan shared the story of his welding business with a USAID job coach, who helped Marwan restart his business. There was a large demand for welders with all the repairs and construction needed to rebuild Sinjar, and so Marwan got to work.
With support from USAID, Marwan opened up his own welding business last year. Despite the pandemic, his beautiful designs would catch the eye of passersby, which expanded his client base. “I have my own welding equipment, tools, and supplies and a good income that has eventually allowed me to purchase more tools and supplies,” said Marwan.
Marwan is now making up to $350 a week in profit, a big increase from what he was earning before he owned his own shop. Marwan is feeling content with his current situation: “Now I have my own tools and equipment and one permanent [employee] to help me. I even call on four other workers to help me when the workload is too much.” Marwan wants to use his skills as a welder to help rebuild his hometown. He hopes to continue to grow his welding shop so that “nobody buys metal doors and windows from abroad or from out of Sinjar.”
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 like Kochari rebuild their lives with dignity. To learn more about USAID and the Marla Fund, click here.