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International Women's Day Inspiration

Olivela X CARE: One Year Later

On March 8, 2018, Olivela and CARE began a partnership to empower girls through education. The girls, whose lives have been completely upended by the Syrian war, are all living in refugee camps in Jordan. All lost their country and their homes. Most lost family members. And all had their educations interrupted to help their families survive. When we first met them, they were shy, reserved. Now, thanks to the support of Olivela shoppers, they are back in school. See for yourself what an impact just a few months of schooling has had on their confidence and their dreams.

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Mariam, 13

ONE YEAR AGO
“My dad can’t work right now because he hurt his back, and I’m the only one working to help my family. I work in a sewing workshop, sweeping and mopping the floors. I work from Saturday to Thursday, and my salary is 20 dinars per month [approximately $28].”

TODAY
"I now believe that everything is possible. I never had friends. I was always alone. I now have close friends who I can share my secrets and interests with. I also can tell people that I know how to read and write. I am really proud of being able to read street signs."

 

Raneem, 11

ONE YEAR AGO
"I have 3 sisters. One of them was married when she was in 7th grade, and my youngest sister was born paralyzed. I stopped going to school so I could help take care of my younger siblings. I miss learning, my friends, and my teachers. I also miss my best friend. I don’t ever see her anymore."

TODAY
"Before going to school, there were times I felt really lonely, empty and depressed. Now I feel like I've found myself. I'm more social. Even though I am older than the rest of the girls, the teachers and girls were very welcoming. This motivated me and brings out the best in me. I am proud of the lessons I am learning."

 

Joury, 15

ONE YEAR AGO
“I help my mom because she had an operation on her back, and she can’t do it all herself. There is also a hair salon right under our house, and the lady sometimes calls me to help her. I make coffee and tea and she teaches me how to do other tasks.”

TODAY
"I never used to do anything for myself. I used to work, but that wasn't for my own sake. Going to school is for me. Studying is a priority at the moment. I now dream of moving to a foreign country and graduating from one of the best universities. I am also proud of learning to treat people in a nice manner. My principal is teaching me this because she treats us all as daughters."

 

Khulood, 10

ONE YEAR AGO
Khulood missed three years of school after her family fled Syria because they couldn't afford to cover the transportation fees to send her.

TODAY
"My life has become entertaining. I have many different activities on a daily basis. I no longer want to be a stay-at-home mother. I am going to study and become a famous engineer. My love for education and learning makes me proud of myself."

 

Nagham, 14

ONE YEAR AGO
"I spend my days in the home, helping my mother with housework, watching TV, drawing and watching the other girls from my window when they get back from school."

TODAY
"I no longer just dream of becoming an artist, I now hope to become one. I am proud of learning how to read and write. Writing was quite challenging, but I am becoming better and better at it."

 

Nisreen, 14

ONE YEAR AGO
"In Syria, I finished the second grade. I haven’t been back to school yet because our financial situation isn’t allowing it. Every day I help my mom in the house and we also make food in order to sell."

TODAY
“I no longer work in order to help make money. My daily routine involves going to school and solving my homework. I now have the option of studying hard and going to university when I graduate."

 

Enas, 15

ONE YEAR AGO
“My twin sister, Sham, and I went to school when we first came to Jordan, but the girls were very mean, and so were the teachers and the principal. They called us mean names in regards to our nationality. So now we clean the house and watch TV.”

TODAY
"My goal in life changed from wanting to get married to loving school and working on becoming a flight attendant. I want to travel the world! My way of thinking has changed. I now know how to use a computer. I am really proud of that! The fact that I can become successful makes me happy."

 

Maysam, 15

ONE YEAR AGO
"I only got to complete the first grade. Each day I wake up, I arrange my bed, my parents bed and clean the whole house because I am the eldest girl. Then I go downstairs to my grandmother's house to wait for my friend to finish school. Later I play with my siblings and ask my mother if she needs help."

TODAY
"I used to be extremely short tempered. I constantly compared myself to other girls because I felt different. I felt they had opportunities that I did not. Going back to school has made me feel less insecure about myself and happier in general. I also have new friends."

 

Shahed, 10

ONE YEAR AGO
Shahed just wants to learn to read and write. But because her family had to flee her homeland when she was just five, the now nine-year-old has yet to attend school. Instead she spends her days watching TV, playing with her siblings and helping her mother with the housework.

TODAY
"My dream of becoming a doctor is now possible. This was never an option before school. I am really proud I can read and write."

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