Fida: Careers Guidance in Homs

18 November 2009

Meet Fida Aoud.

Fida is a woman of perseverance who has learned how to develop herself as a successful mother and career woman. Fida got married while she was in her first year in the English department at the university. While continuing her studies, she had two children, who watched her struggle to raise a family and pursue her education. 

Fida‘s ambition was always to find a job that would guarantee security for her and her family while allowing her to use her talents and reach her potential. She didn’t quite find exactly what she was looking for while working as an administrative writer in UNRWA’s central zone office, so she moved to the vocational training programme, which gave her the opportunity to work as the director of the career guidance office in the Homs camps.

7:30: Arrive at the office. Fida reviews her schedule for the day. At her base in Homs camp, she begins welcoming young people who are looking for jobs. "I give the young people the advice they need to decide which field to enter, in function of their potential. I then direct them towards the appropriate training centre to acquire the necessary skills to enter the labour market. In my work, I focus on giving them all the necessary information about the labour market and the training opportunities we provide so that they choose the appropriate career."

11:00: Give the day’s workshop. Today, she’s teaching young people to write their own CVs. This is just one of the many topics that the workshops cover, including self-awareness, interviewing skills, job search strategies, career planning, team work and dealing with pressure at work. These activities prepare the young people to enter the job market and to face the challenges that they may encounter during their job searches.

1:00: Meet with the director of a factory near the camp. "Building a network of strong relations with employers is one of the most exciting parts of my work. I meet with different people on a daily basis and I work to convince them of our office’s placement services. Since I am very good at connecting with them, I am often successful. I don’t stop communicating with them, so that I stay in their memory and they contact me when they have vacancies. I then send them appropriate candidates."

6:00: Training inspection. Fida goes to oversee the progress of the welding class that the Office of Vocational Training established. Forty-eight young people are working hard through the training course to learn this profession. Fida says: "I have opted for this type of course, which responds to the job market’s needs in central Syria. The young people in the Homs camp recognise the importance of learning this type of skill if they are to earn significant salaries from their work. Since there is not a specialised institute for teaching such professions, more young people turned up to register in this session than we could accommodate. We now have dozens of people waiting anxiously for the next session."

UNRWA-EU: A Partnership for Development and Humanity