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Lybia – The strength of a hard-working mother who is a role model for her children

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Fatima is a 40-year-old housewife from Sebha who, despite all the adversities life has brought her, continues to fight for a better future.

Fatima grew up as the only child of a single mother. She watched her mother struggle and gain from various opportunities, including farming, sewing and perfumery. Fatima aspired to be like her mother. From an early age, Fatima demonstrated an interest in agriculture and helped her mother plant mangoes, lemons, and oranges.

In her twenties, Fatima got married while working as a teacher. After giving birth to a child who unfortunately had health problems, she focused entirely on her son and put aside her dreams of professional success. Fatima’s son died after a six-year battle for survival. It was understandably difficult for her to return to her routine. After struggling, Fatima and her husband received the good news that they were expecting healthy twins. Fatima was overjoyed by this news. She began to see life in a better way and was motivated to return to work to prepare for the arrival of her twins.

. Fatima worked tirelessly from home, making traditional sweets, and selling them to local vendors, and soon residents turned to her with orders for upcoming events. Fatima was known in the neighborhood for her creativity and craftsmanship. She received one order after another, and her husband was very glad of her financial contribution to the family.

A few years later, her twins had two younger brothers and Fatima continued working from home to take care of them. Life was going smoothly for Fatima until the day she fell ill and received the unpleasant news that she had kidney failure. She had to stop working and concentrated only on her health. Later Fatima was diagnosed with depression: I had very difficult years, only my children kept me going”.

It took Fatima years to feel better, which is comprehensible. Only recently did she start socializing again. She recalls: During a gathering, a friend told me about the possibility of a dairy training that was taking place in our town”. With the encouragement of her husband and friend, she enrolled in the course.

Fatima participated in the training organized in the framework of the ZIRAA project and did not miss a single day. She learnt how to make different types of cheese, butter, labneh, cream and cheese-based desserts. She said: “I contacted the shops I used to work with, and they welcomed the idea of me making products again”. She started working at a slower pace than before, always putting her health and well-being first. She resumed receiving orders from neighbors and friends.

Moreover, Fatima will be receiving equipment to help maximize her results and reduce her effort, she explains: “I’m very happy I’m working again, mostly so that my children will see a better version of their mom”. As the only child of a hard-working single mother, Fatima sees the value of having had her as a role model and wishes to pass on these values to her children and be a role model for them.

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