If you are in the village of Bardala, located in the Northern Jordan Valley, and get close enough to Kefaya Freihat’s house, you will be able to smell the scent of roses and flowers that decorate the entrance. It’s a pleasant sight.
Kefaya welcomed us in a simple room which serves as a small soap-making workshop. Here, she uses natural ingredients such as Dead Sea mud, coffee, and aloe vera to produce soap from scratch.
Prior to that, Kefaya, a responsible mother of 11 kids, was seeking any employment opportunity she could join. Everything changed on the day when one of her friends told her about the project of Tubas Rural Business Opportunities and Social Innovation (TURBO), which was implemented by the Business Women Forum - Palestine (BWF).
“I joined after attending the project’s awareness workshop, ”Kefaya said. “I knew about the traditional soap-making process, but I was amazed by the modern methods I have learned during the training at the Women's Forum,”she added.
Kefaya was surprised to learn that her trainer, who has a soap factory in Nablus and a shop that sells soap products in the city of Ramallah, was several years ago a trainee who joined trainings and services provided by the Women’s Forum. This became an example for other successful female entrepreneurs.
A simple program participation request took Kefaya from Bardala to Bologna, to meeting other female Italian entrepreneurs - and learning from themhow to promote her project in the countryside.
“Part of the educational training was in Italy, where I learned more new skills and technologies - it was new and at the same time simple soI could apply this knowledge to my small project,”she said.
After passing her training period, Kefaya received a grant that provided her with the tools and materials needed to set up her own workshop, which she named “Nawarat Bardala Soap”.
Now, Kefaya is skilled enough to make different types of soap, and she became more aware of the benefits of each type - whether for hair or skin. At the end she said: “Today, I can buy what is necessary for me and my family without relying on anyone”.