Our primary interest is aiding Christians through financing their
own micro-projects that would provide them with income to preserve their dignity
and alleviate the calamities of the crisis.
The team at Hope Center reviews and evaluates the projects and the extent to
which the applicant has planned for his/her idea. If accepted, the center
starts providing funds for the project to initiate.
Besides aiding Christians in need, this initiative aims for reviving the city of
Aleppo that has lost most of its economic structure.
Not many people have the courage to leave their job and switch to something they love, that is what Gaby did by quitting work in a goldsmithing workshop, to choose a pretty unique field; hand making souvenirs rosaries and religious art pieces. This artisan who is also a father of three daughters, made this change back in 2006, since he was the sole provider of his family that was smaller back then.
Gaby was struggling to provide from his weekly paycheck at the workshop and he didn’t have enough capital to work independently in goldsmithing, so when a friend offered him help and support to start a new business, he accepted this opportunity specially that this domain he chose also requires hand skills. It was a rough start but Gaby was determined to make it work. Slowly his business grew, he had two employees to help him with the orders that were coming not only from Aleppo, but also from other cities around the country and even from Lebanon. Life wasn’t easy for the 54-years-old Gaby; he was diagnosed with “Crohn’s Disease”; a condition that is chronic and he eventually needed surgery.
This lifelong battle with the disease was truly exhausting, specially that the war added to the agony of the whole family. Gaby considers himself lucky that no serious material damages happened to them, but the emotional impact of war was devastating.
Today Gaby, His wife Sanaa and his daughter Patricia have put the war and its bad memories behind, but the high livelihood costs and the lack of the primary materials, still made their life difficult, specially that they have the house rent and the store rent to pay every month which is not easy at all.
The latest outbreak of corona virus didn’t make things any easier, the high prices and the closure of jobs has put Gaby in a critical situation, that’s why this support came in the right timing. He wants to purchase a good amount of “resins” and primary material since it is the hardest to get, in order to use in new designs in the future, hoping that things would turn around and the upcoming days hold success.
My name is Aram, 35 years old. My wife Hala and I live with my parents in their flat in Aleppo. During the crisis in Syria I moved to Mashta Al- Heloo to escape from the war and to find a job that can make me earn my living, there, I met Hala, we got married, I rented a flat and started a new job. In Mashta Al-Heloo I worked with a person in fixing mobile phones, but later he wanted to quit, so I had to close the shop. I could not continue on my own because it was expensive. I tried to search for another job in the field of my experience, but I could not find one. I had a lot of responsibilities such as the rent cost and the basic needs of the daily life, but I could not afford any of them because I was unemployed. As a result, I had only one choice which is to go back to Aleppo with my wife to live with my parents. I sometimes work for some shops in repairing mobile devices, but they only call me when they gather a big number of devices that need to be repaired, this of course is no solution for the future. This project is the only hope to have a stable income and be an independent person.
Michael Tanashian is a 32-years-old young man who chose his career long time ago, after the seventh grade Michael started working in his father’s workshop for metal lathing, he quickly mastered this profession and took the leading role in the workshop but the war changed things drastically.
In 2012 his workshop in Al-Arkoub was destroyed by the missiles and robbed completely, then Michael had to work for people to be able to support his family of three, they were barely living, it wasn’t even possible for Michael to try and compensate his great losses in material and machinery.
During the war their livelihood wasn’t the only thing that was threatened, their own safety was jeopardized more than once; one time a bombshell fell on their building’s roof while Michael’s mother and two sisters were home, it was a terrifying experience but Michael and his parents didn’t leave and they chose to stay.
Early in 2018 when going back to Al-Arkoub was possible again, Michael went and saw all the destruction and the robbery. However, this wasn’t going to stop him, instead, he was determined even more than ever to start over, that’s why he was motivated to rent another space in that industrial area and step by step he would equip a complete workshop like the one he used to run in the past.
Unfortunately, the many obstacles; mainly the financial situation, stood in the way of achieving Michael’s purpose, he needs help to purchase the necessary machinery for his business to start again.
During the war Jamil’s workplace in Al-Ramouseh was confiscated and his machinery and tools were all stolen. Another two workshops owned by his father were severely damaged, thus the family lost their livelihood for more than three years. When Aleppo city became relatively safer, Jamil and his father rented a workplace together and resumed their job in manufacturing convertible cabins for trucks but this kind of work needs an open and large space which the current workshop lacks, not to mention the high renting costs Jamil has to pay to the owner of the place every month, which is a big financial burden on their shoulders.
Jamil also takes care of his mother-in-law who lives with him and his wife Anna in Al-Serian Al-Jadide neighborhood as the only provider in the house.
Although Jamil has the determination to improve and develop his business, but he can’t do much on his own. His workshop in Al-Ramouseh needed a lot of rehabilitation and there is no electricity in the area so he has to get a generator. In addition to the equipment that he needs to purchase to continue with his job, that’s why he need the help and support to take this big step in reviving his business and maintaining a decent income for his family.
The war was the only thing separating Samir from the profession that he loved a lot, it was not only depressing for him not to be able to practice his job, but also going through many financial troubles due to being jobless for that long, specially that his daughter Jeanette’s husband was called for military service and she and her two children became homeless and came to live with her father.
During that time, Abdallah, Samir’s 32-years-old son was the only one with an income in the house (he was working as a hairdresser). In 2016, when Al-Midan became safe by the end of conflict, Samir reopened his workshop and his son joined him in the family business. But the first obstacle they faced was that their equipment was too old and worn-off.
Since their financial resources were drained during the prolonged war, Samir was not able to replace them with newer versions by himself. With this support he can restore his business and be able to take a good care of his family and his two adorable granddaughters.
Michael Tobji has made a rare career choice when he decided to shift from computers’ maintenance to the maintenance of electric dentistry chairs, and now he is about to make another radical change in his career path with his recent project idea.
Since 1985, the father of two started in the electric devices’ maintenance field, then in 2012 he went towards computer maintenance as a part time job, but eventually he went back to the electric dentistry chairs’ maintenance. Unfortunately, this field he was specialized in, requires electricity the thing that the whole city of Aleppo was deprived from for so long during the war years.
The lack of electricity and safety in the city combined with the tempting idea of immigration pushed the majority of Michael’s dentist clients to leave the country. But despite the slow business, Michael stayed positive and was always thankful to God for protecting him, his wife Catherine and his two children Joseph and Rein. Their house was only exposed to some minor damages. And although his business was affected, but it has never stopped completely, in addition, his son Joseph was contributing in the livelihood income; since he is a French literature graduate working as a teacher in several local schools.
Because of the economic crisis, Michael’s income became insufficient, it was not enough to cover the basic needs of the family, meanwhile the business was deteriorating daily. This was the main reason that led Michael to the idea of working as a taxi driver, he needed a second income that would allow him to keep his main job, specially that his work wasn’t stable and he needed constant transportation expenses between the dental clinics.
Among many other jobs, the taxi has the most convenient schedule which suits Michael perfectly, and at the same time it has a good profit rate that will increase the family’s income.