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Date posted: February 16, 2019
By MIFTAH

Ramallah Raja Hamouda and Ghada Mansour from the villages of Qbeibe and Beit Ijza, northwest of Jerusalem both participated in MIFTAHs six-day training on communication, leadership and gender-based violence skills for women beneficiaries of the Development of local communities through income-generating projects, which included 32 participants. The women said the training was very important for the sustainability of their projects in terms of their development and product diversity and marketability. These, they maintained, had not been made available to them before the training.

Hamouda, from Qbeibe, is a housewife who also provides for her family of five. Her husband is unemployed due to illness. She became involved, along with four of her colleagues in a sewing project after they all received support from MIFTAH , either through training and follow up or through financial support to jumpstart their projects.

Hamouda said, The training provided us with an important database for how to manage our sewing project on new foundations. It taught us how to calculate our profits and push our products into the market. These are things we were not aware of before, all of which positively reflected on our knowledge of the market, its demands and needs.

She continued that all of the women who participated would not hesitate to partake in other trainings MIFTAH may offer. Any extra training that could serve our projects would be welcomed and we would definitely participate. We hope to expand and increase our production and break further into the local market and even external markets. We hope MIFTAH will help us with this in the future.

Mansour, from Qbeibeh also said she greatly benefited from the training and how it positively reflected on the accessories and embroidery project she and her four coworkers have taken on. She explained that they are all housewives and that the training will inevitably contribute to their economic empowerment and help them provide for their families in addition to boosting their self-confidence as pioneers in their families and communities.

She said the training offered them important and useful information that was presented in a simplified manner and not just theoretical material. We had several practical activities in addition to the theoretical material, which gave us more information on how to manage our project, develop it and plan for the future. Mansour added that the training also showed them how to avoid past mistakes and how to learn from them. The training had a positive impact on our product marketing and gave us a better idea of how to manage the project in a way that guarantees its continuity, sustainability and expansion in the future.

The training

Jane Qureitem, small-projects trainer and director of the Scholarship Center for Training who oversaw the training said: We held a three-day training program for each group. The first group came from the following areas: Silwan, Essawiyeh, Beit Ijza and Ezzariyeh and was comprised of 16 participants. The second group was from the following areas: Beit Dukko, Qbeibeh, Jadeera and Anata, also with 16 participants. The training focused on these subjects: Day One focused on communications and means of dealing with our partners in the project that is, suppliers and customers. It also focused on the importance of good communication; how to apply this by learning the principles of successful communication; through learning the types of communication and how to choose the right words and even gestures and the importance of body language in expressing oneself. Another focal point was what skills are necessary for completing the communications process and the importance of hearing and listening. As for interaction with others, she said the ability of people to deal with others leads to success and to the success of their project. Qureitem also said the participants broached the subject of teamwork skills.

The second day focused on negotiating and persuasion skills and the difference between negotiating and compromising; the stages of the negotiating process; what are the basic components to the negotiating process, the importance of choosing a negotiating team and the importance of building negotiating capacities. Qureitem also said the participants were introduced to the types of personalities in negotiations and that negotiating was an activity of which the endgame is a win-win situation. We discussed strategies and negotiating tactics as well. As for persuasion, she said they addressed ways to develop skills in this regard and then moved on to the mistakes made in sales.

Day three was about leadership and time-management skills and becoming acquainted with work models and how to use them. The participants were also introduced to the Japanese S5 method and how to build a goal and devise a plan to reach that goal, Qureitem maintained. She said the groups were introduced to gender, its roles and the meaning of womens empowerment and importance.

The training was conducted according to the case-study and educational activities method for conveying information. Qureitem explained that they focused on the problems the women faced while carrying out their projects so as to overcome them for the projects success. This is the goal of the projects and also the goal of the training: to enable women to improve their interaction with each other and with their suppliers and customers.

Reflections and impacts

Qureitem adds: The impact of this training was clear on the women even during the training. They found solutions to some of their problems and began thinking in new ways to improve their projects performance. The impact will be even clearer with time because they would have used their new skills and information; this will also be reflected in their income, which will increase as a result of their introduction to new methods in dealing with suppliers and customers.

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