Layal's Oasis Experience: A Path to Self-Confidence


Author: Bashar Al-Ja’bari

Layal's Oasis Experience: A Path to Self-Confidence
Photo: UN Women/Michele Pasquale

Layal Al-Khalaf, a 37-year-old Syrian mother of five. She arrived in Jordan in 2013, seeking refuge from the devastating conflict in Syria. Her discovery of the Oasis centre was facilitated by her will to start something new in her life as well as her neighbours, who directed her towards to register at the Oasis centre. She started a transformative journey through as a receptionist at the UN Women Oasis centre, located within the Zaatari camp. This opportunity was made possible through the generous funding of the European Union, provided through the Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis, the Madad Fund.  

"After completing the programme, I now feel more at ease and confident in my abilities. I am eager to embrace similar experiences in the future. On a professional level, I developed many skills and could earn a stable income throughout the time I spent at the centre. I could contribute to the family’s income, which made me proud. The skills I gained will also help me start a business and continue generating income to support my family.”

The Oasis centres provide a sanctuary for women, like Layal, offering a range of skill-building courses and psychosocial support, empowering them to rebuild their lives and secure a better future. The encouraging environment and the dedication of the team at the centre have made the Oasis centres a vital resource for women who have experienced displacement and conflict.

“Interacting with other women at the centre was incredibly enriching as we were women with different perspectives and backgrounds. We were all like a family and we always supported each other.”

"The centre provided the necessary resources and for us to transform and evolve. I sincerely recommend this programme to all my neighbours and the women I know. My advice to women everywhere is to constantly work towards their dreams, seize new opportunities, and hold on to the invaluable lesson that self-confidence is the key to achieving one's goals. I hope to inspire women to overcome challenges and reach their full potential."

These Oasis centres represent more than just educational institutions; they are evidence to the power of collaboration and humanitarian efforts. They serve as safe spaces where women can come together, forge lasting connections, and gain the confidence and skills needed to rebuild their lives. With the unwavering support of donors and partners, the Oasis centres continue to play a pivotal role in enabling women like Layal to overcome adversity, thrive, and achieve their dreams.

As she envisions her future, Layal shares her aspirations, "My dream is to establish my own business, ensuring a stable source of income for my family. I also aspire to provide my children with the education. Achieving these dreams demands hard work and dedication, but I hold hope that one day they will become a reality.”