“It was important for me to have an independent income that would meet the needs of my family.” Hanan Hadeeb, 60 years old, Jordan.
Hanan had difficulty coping with her new reality when she retired from her career as a nurse. She had to leave her job to care for her husband who was suffering from heart problems. Shortly after retirement, her husband’s health declined and Hanan moved with him into a nursing home until he died in 2015.
The shock of losing her husband, combined with the loss of her job and main source of income was difficult for Hanan to cope with. She struggled with loneliness, financial insecurity and restrictions on her autonomy.
“I suffered a lot of time. I felt it was important for me to have an independent income that would meet the needs of my family…Everything was tasteless and colourless. All the people around me were busy with their work and my children with their studies. I spent most of my time alone and that was hard for me.”
Hanan life changed when she joined the Appreciation Project carried out by NAYA and funded by HelpAge International. The project seeks to reduce poverty in old age by providing training opportunities to older people in Jordan. Through courses it equips participants with new skills to increase their opportunities for employment.
Through participating in training courses, Hanan became interested in natural detergents and started a business developing and selling natural shampoos. This not only provided her with an income, but gave her back her autonomy, a sense of self-worth and a new social outlet.
“Perhaps I cannot describe true joy now, but the programme has breathed something new in my soul, new hope, and I will remain grateful for these new friendships and useful experiences that have come to us through the appreciation project.”