New opportunities: Saad’s story 

Saad shops for vegetables. OCHA.


Syria. At 27 years old, Saad has seen many hardships. Saad was a computer engineering student when the war broke out. Shelling injured Saad’s eye and leg. The life he once knew was upended and like many Syrians, Saad had to flee and leave behind his studies and the life he once knew.

He moved north and eventually ended up in Afrin city, part of Aleppo governorate and not too far from the Turkish border. Married with four young children, and with little savings, Saad had to find employment quickly to support his family.  “I did not want to rely on aid, and, as young man, I must find a regular job to support my children,” Saad explained.

With much effort, persistence and luck, Saad  applied for an internship in bakeries through the ‘Kafaf’ project. Bread is a staple in Syrian households and bakeries are integral to the social and economic fabric of the community.

The project, managed by Takaful Al-Sham Organization and funded through the Syria Cross-border Humanitarian Fund, was designed to support the sustainability of bakeries and offer opportunities for people like Saad to learn valuable technical skills that could lead to job opportunities.

“One day, I was browsing the Internet and I saw an announcement on Takaful Al-Sham’s page about registering for an internship in “Kafaf” project. I rushed to apply, and the project team contacted me a few days later. Now, I am working in a bakery in the city of Afrin. I received occupational safety training and training on bakeries maintenance provided by the project team,” said Saad.

Saad worked hard and learned as much as he could about how to repair the machinery at the bakery and how to help maintain it. Saad was also well-liked and regarded by his team and peers at work. After completing his internship, the bakery manager offered Saad a full-time position, where he will be one of the main members of the bakery’s maintenance team.

“I was able to reach my goal and provide for my family, and I will continue to develop my skills and work to build a beautiful future for my children.”

More information on the Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund: