Success in Starting Over

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Abou Adel is a 36-year-old father of five children who lives in rural Damascus. Before the crisis in Syria began, he was the proud owner of four hair salons. His passion for hair began when he was eight, which was when he first took a role as an apprentice barber, so his salons brought him joy. They also afforded his family a comfortable life.

But the conflict raging in his country took so much away.

“I lost everything, my salons, all of my equipment and I had to start over from scratch!” explained Abou Adel. “I had to work as a daily laborer, selling biscuits on the streets. I looked for any kind of job to provide for my family.”

This was a massive setback for the family, but it didn’t dampen Abou Adel’s determination and love for the hairdressing business. He was eventually able to open another barbershop with equipment and supplies he was able to save from his earlier business. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to replicate his earlier success.

His circumstances, need, and previous experience made Abou Adel the perfect candidate for an ADRA livelihoods project in the area. 

The young father joined a small business training course, which refreshed his management skills in the context of a population affected by crisis. At the end of the course, he submitted a meticulous business plan and kickstarted his business with a marketing strategy of offering free haircuts to his fellow attendees. 

Within three months of his training and receiving updated equipment and materials from ADRA, Abou Adel was celebrating success again.

“My shop undertook a 180-degree change, and my income nearly doubled,” expressed Abou Adel. “Now, customers come eagerly to my shop and don’t want to leave!” 

Abou Adel is a living example of how hard work, determination, and the willingness to accept a helping hand, can create success in even the most dire circumstances.

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About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.

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