Muna Z’arneh who is a 48-year-old mother of five children, living in Al-Ramadeen village, southwest of Hebron. The village is considered a marginalized area located near the Israeli separation wall. Transportation from the village to the city center is difficult and costly (50 NIS daily costs to reach Hebron city). Muna has only completed part of her primary education. Her family has limited income that is spent on the household’s basic needs. During the training, Muna expressed that she faced physical violence from her husband, who also often prevents her from leaving the house. Her husband has a physical disability in his left leg and he is a worker with a daily wage in an Israeli settlement, but as Muna implied, his income barely covers their basic needs because he doesn’t work every day, sometimes only a few days during the month.
Muna also works on a small farm, which she and her husband own, near their house. In addition to working in farming, Muna aspires to start a project of dairy production to raise sheep and produce dairy products, as the agricultural produce from the land barely covers their household food needs.
She enrolled in GROW’s financial literacy training with a business idea to start raising sheep and producing dairy products as a source of income for her family. Although she has the basic production skills in making dairy products, some of the key challenges to start this business include the lack of financial resources to purchase the sheep. She believes that owning an independent business will help her as a woman to become financially independent as well as more able to control her life and decisions. For many women like Muna, participation in this training gave an opportunity to express fears and problems. Muna says, “it’s the first time in my life that I attend a training on gender.”
Muna indicated that she has substantially benefited from the training, besides learning how to run a project more effectively and managing her finances, Muna also started applying compost on her plants while farming, using the organic ingredients and applying the techniques she learned in the training. She said that before the training she was not using organic compost. She also now avoids using plastic containers and resorts to glass instead after learning how damaging the plastic can be to the environment.
On the other hand, the training was an enriching experience to Muna as she had the opportunity to meet female entrepreneurs and exchange experience and knowledge with them. She stated :
“The training made me feel important, and not only a housewife”