Livelihood courses set the stage for Libya’s entrepreneurs
When Farah moved from her home city of Tobruk to Zolton, western Libya, on the other side of the country, she was 16 and just married. When her husband lost his job, their only source of income, she did not have her family close by to turn to for support. Their financial situation grew more and more precarious, and they began relying on friends and charity to get by day-to-day.
There seemed no alternative but to seek support, but Farah wanted to be able to provide for their three children herself. Without any schooling or formal training, she knew this would be difficult, but she was determined.
In February 2020 Farah joined WFP’s vocational training for stylists, and eagerly began to learn, excited for the practical course and the soft skills class that would mean she would become employable.
Even though the training had to be suspended in mid-March due to coronavirus restrictions, it resumed in September with strict COVID-19 measures in place, and Farah was able to find work as she completed the course, which ended in October.
“I’ve started working as a stylist from home, keeping safety measures in place, and as of the last month I’ve been able to be the provider for my family,” Farah proudly said. “This month we’ve been able to buy food for the children ourselves, milk, the things they need. It is a strong feeling.”
WFP’s livelihood courses, implemented in western Libya through Libyan cooperating partner Kafaa, are geared toward the empowerment and resilience of vulnerable population groups, especially women and youth, through useful trainings that combine locally marketable skills with people’s interests. The courses also support with follow-up supplies for entrepreneurs like Farah and help find work. As of October, about 500 people have been trained since July 2019. Trainings have also been expanded to the east of the country.