Like thousands of Syrians, Rim’s education was put on hold when the civil war erupted in her country, forcing her and thousands of others to flee to neighboring Lebanon during her second year of Nursing studies. With the help of ACTED, she is now an elder-care worker in her host city North of Lebanon, Tripoli.
Rim was born in Talkalakh, in western Syria’s Homs Governorate. After the completion of her vocational education, Rim worked as a tutor for children in order to assist her family for six years, then decided to continue her education in Nursing in her home town in Homs.
Due to the unstable security situation, she fled to Lebanon in 2012.
Rim sought to continue her education shortly after her arrival but was told that she was now too old to re-enroll in her Nursing course.
Rim was able to pursue her passion, at last, when she heard of the TVETs from someone in her community and decided to call ACTED to undergo the assessments, and was finally selected as a project participant to take part in the Home-Based Care module. She had a raw passion to learn more about this field and at the same time compensate for her lost years.
During the program, Rim proved to be a hard-working trainee and one of the participants most eager to learn. The Home-Based Care module consisted of nursing education, the basics of dealing with patients and treating wounds, as well as communications skills and patients’ rights.
Rim was later accepted for an internship at an elderly healthcare center in Tripoli where she began working in February 2019. Rim is responsible for taking care of the elderly in the mental health department. She is enjoying her work while taking the right precautions, for fear of the Coronavirus to be transmitted to the patients.
While she was only supposed to spend a total of 80 hours in the program for two months, Rim also volunteered to work extra hours to assist the elderly in their daily activities and take care of them. Her work at the center grabbed the attention of her supervisor, who offered her a job upon completion of the internship program. She thus started working as an elderly-care worker in March.
Rim has acquired new skills while working at the center such as communication skills and patients’ handling. She has proven to be a fast learner with an ability to tune in to other people’s distress and a desire to alleviate it.
“A job is a powerful tool that women can use in their communities; it can change people’s attittudes towards them and give the women confidence, as well as allow them to extend their social networks and build relationships with people from different backgrounds. Regardless of all the socio-economic and health crises happening in the country, for me, coming to work everyday is a stress relief,” said Rim. As for her performance, her supervisor believes that Rim always knows what needs to be done and when, saying that her “initiative and work ethics are impressive.”
Rim is now confidently able to support her family during these difficult times, especially given the COVID-19 health crisis which has cost her family members their jobs. “I am much happier than when I first arrived in Lebanon; working is completely life-changing. I saw a huge improvement in my life and my overall wellbeing.”
Since October 2019, ACTED Lebanon has been implementing a project that aims at building the resilience of vulnerable girls and women living in Tripoli, in the North of Lebanon, through improving livelihood opportunities through the provision of technical trainings in three domains: Basic IT, Decorative Construction, and Home-Based Care.
This project is made possible through the support of UN WOMEN.