At a Beirut refugee camp, Mariam Shaar is helping Palestinian refugee women to find work and expand their business expertise by giving them jobs at her catering service, Soufra, according to FoodBeast. Shaar, who runs the Women’s Program Association (WPA) in Burj el-Barajneh, set up Soufra to provide income for the WPA and for the women.
Income for the women was limited as a result of the limited income of the people within the camp and the seasonal demand for catering. As a result, Alfanar, an Arab regional philanthropic organization, set up a kickstarter to help get Soufra a food truck to expand their business. By having a food truck, the women would no longer have to wait for business to come to them but could take their food straight to customers. The food truck would also create more jobs for women.
Shaar says, “It’s more than about the money. It’s about changing perceptions and patterns and mindsets. They have a reason to get up in the morning, to get out. They look forward to seeing each other, and to creating something, doing something with their hands that other people then appreciate, and then bringing home income for their family. And, their daughters look at them differently… They’re changing what it means, both to be a Palestinian refugee and to be a woman.”