Alissar's story: 'I'm capable of learning and helping my family!'

Even before the shockwaves of the Syrian war crashed through the social and economic fabric of Lebanese society, poverty and marginalisation affected many across the country. 
Among the poorest communities across the Middle East, women continue to face specific challenges. Lack of educational opportunities and lack of respect for women as equals are rooted in traditional attitudes to gender, forcing women to the margins of society.
Inter-Church Network for Development and Relief (ICNDR) are running an education project helping disadvantaged and opressed women build skills, claim their rights and gain economic independence.
Alissar, 24, lives with her husband, two children, and eight members of her husband's family in a small house in a village in the south of Lebanon. She has been attending our partner's programme twice a week for the past year.
'To change our lives as women living in this very far away village we need to learn, so it was very important to me to attend these workshops. I learnt how to operate the computer, and I created very beautiful products in the handicrafts sessions.
My participation in these activities increased my self-esteem. I feel more capable of doing other things beyond household issues and I realised that I am capable of learning new things to help my family and community. Maybe I can have my own small business in the future. I am hard working, and I have the motivation to change my life.'