Due to the low job opportunities and the lack of a minimum wage, most of the Eritrean refugees in the country are dependent on family members or relatives living abroad. SIHA supported the Eritrean Women for Development Association (EWDA), a SIHA member, with a small grant to economically empower the low-income women. Thirteen women from the Association were chosen through a criterion that focused on the most vulnerable including single mothers most of whom had lost their husbands during the Eritrean war as well as married mothers particularly those without income sources and young girls who have minimal or no income to support themselves. The women were trained in making Injera (Eritrean local food) and hairdressing.
To make Injera, trainees were provided with the Teff flour and guidance especially on usage after which, they had practical sessions to prepare the delicacy. For the remaining days of the training, participants were given some of the flour with which they were able to prepare “injera” at their own homes, and then sell it at the training venue.
The hairdressing session of the Training on the other hand was held three times a week; however, participants were allowed to come and practice anytime within the training period. The hands on training in preparing Injera and hair dressing were followed by a business management session to allow participants reflect on opportunities that would sustain their food and hair dressing business plans. The session provided hands on knowledge on record keeping, budgeting and savings which are essential for business growth.