CROSSDEV for women’s empowerment: Galsoum Kitchen in Umm Qais, Jordan
Galsoum runs a business in her home in Umm Qais, preparing and selling food to tourists and neighbours. Before establishing this business, she used to spend most of her time taking care of her family, doing household work.
Shortly after their home was built, the family's financial situation took a turn for the worse, with the single income salary being not enough to cover the bills. Galsoum decided to take action: following her sister’s advice, she started selling bread and other food for her surrounding community so to earn extra income.
At first, her husband was not in favour of the idea, but ultimately, he was convinced: Galsoum was right in her willingness to work to support the family expenses. So, the adventure began: Galsoum expanded her market to students and teachers at the local school, with her products becoming very popular and the orders flooding.
Today, thanks to the involvement within the CROSSDEV project, Galsoum Kitchen has the chance to grow through online visibility, joint actions with other local businesses, and training workshops.
Galsoum’s experience has already benefited from the involvement in the project.
I’ve become more involved in events in my surrounding community, I took part in events such as the Pomegranate Festival and contributed to a cookbook entitled Empowering Women Through Cooking that includes one of my recipes
Training sessions with Galsoum (photos taken before the Covid-19 pandemic)
Her success in business made her more courageous, and ready to expand and take risks. Today, Galsoum plans to build an additional place in her home, as well as a roof space to better accommodate larger groups of customers who come to eat at her home.
"The Corona epidemic had an impact on the general economy for many businesses at the local and global level, and it also had an impact on my work", she stated. “I still receive less people to my kitchen, as I have to follow the rules and be aware of safety procedures like distancing and extra hygiene during this period so to take care of the clients and my family. The income has decreased significantly and I worry it will keep falling, with less and less tourists being able to travel”.
But Galsoum is a strong and resilient woman, confident enough to keep coming with new ideas: in order to deal with the current situation, she is creating new type of products dedicated to Umm Qais may locals instead of international tourists.
Within the CROSSDEV project, she will soon be able to promote her work online to reach more costumers. CROSSDEV project is committed to achieving equal opportunities, and gender diversity. In Umm Qais the project helps creating jobs, additional income and increasing tourism opportunities.
I believe that CROSSDEV can help us by promoting greater community engagement in the tourism sector and encouraging inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the long term
Galsoum dinners with guests (photos taken before the Covid-19 pandemic)