Fatemah, divorced with 1 child from Haifa
Today: a dental assistant to a senior dental surgeon at a hospital
“I entered the program as an insecure woman, lacking motivation, and penniless. Today, I feel that I was given a chance to fulfill my dreams.”
Fatemah was a housewife for many years. She knew it was expected of her to stay at home and not work. Due to a problematic relationship with her husband, she eventually moved out, taking her son with her. She realized that she had to rebuild her life, nearly from scratch. And that’s how Fatemah came to the Eshet Chayil program.
She joined a group of women led by a Be-Atzmi coordinator. Fatemah recalls that all she really needed at the time was support and empowerment, and she wasn’t even that interested in looking for a job. She knew just how hard and limited her life had been before, and what she needed the most was support and understanding from the women in the group and the coordinator.
Coupled with the group support process, the Be-Atzmi coordinator began talking to Fatemah about the possibility of looking for a job. At first, it was very difficult because she felt she wasn’t yet strong enough to venture out. Following an extended guidance process during which Fatemah gained strength, she understood that it would benefit her to start working and chose the career path of a dental assistant.
Fatemah began studying, but new problems emerged after her son was hospitalized for a long time. Due to those problems, she decided to discontinue her studies. But the Be-Atzmi coordinator didn’t give up on her, visited her at the hospital, and continued to insist that Fatemah not give up either. The coordinator managed to persuade the college where Fatemah had studied to reaccept her even though she had missed a great deal of the course.
After studying for another three months, one of the instructors at the college approached Fatemah and offered her a job at his private dental clinic.
Today, several years after first joining the employment program, Fatemah is light years away from her previous life. As she describes it: “I entered the program as an insecure woman, lacking motivation, and penniless. Today, I feel that I was given a chance to fulfill my dreams, to be an independent woman. I don’t need help from my siblings or my ex. I’m the one who has begun supporting my brothers and sisters. I work as an assistant to a senior dental surgeon at a hospital in Haifa and also at a HMO. I won’t stop here and intend to continue studying and working.”
Whenever the opportunity arises, Fatemah tells others about what she received from the employment program. She also recommends it to every woman she knows. Two of Fatemah’s sisters have also started taking part in Be-Atzmi programs.