Adwa Ahmed

Cheese production, Yemen

Adwa Ahmed has eased the burden on her father’s income by becoming a successful dairy farmer in her own right. Adwa and her sister Laila live with their extended family of nine members in Ash Shamyateen district in Taizz, Yemen. Adwa dropped out of school at 11 to help her mother with the farming and house work. At this time she also started making local cheese for the family, a skill she would later use in her business idea. Adwa joined the SPARK entrepreneur training which helped her build on her existing strengths: ‘I am very happy that I participated in the Women’s economic empowerment project, my life condition is getting improved since I started my local cheese business, I actually I came from a family that produces local cheese but we did not know best practices to produce cheese and our returns were very low. I used to sell three pieces of local cheese of YR 150 per piece but the training we received has helped me improve the quality of my cheese and enabled me to raise its price and now I’m selling 7 pieces daily with YR 200 each’ said Adwa .

Two years ago Adwa and Laila’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and since then Adwa is solely responsible for taking care of the household chores. ‘My family has a bad health conditions, my mother has cancer and my brother has kidney failure while my little sister is unable to speak as she was born with adenoids and we can’t afford the surgery cost’ said Adwa.

Until Adwa started her business the family depended entirely on the father’s income to provide the basic food needs while other medical needs are covered with the help of local philanthropists. Adwa is very happy that she is now earning an income which enables her to help her father in supporting their family and she is aspiring to expand her business through having more cows to increase the milk quantity to produce more cheese.

What is your personal ambition?

My ambitious is to extend my project and target new markets so I could increase the income of my family and expand my business through having more cows to increase the milk quantity to produce more cheese.

What impact do you see your business making?

At the personal level I gained an experience and new skills in the field of making cheese in a healthy methodology. They help me a lot to keep the dairy for long time because I learnt new techniques such as pasteurization and methods of sterilization. At the past I was lost my products faster because I didn't use healthy way. Now my income increase and now I'm able to buy all the needed installment for the home and buy my mother's medicines. The most important impact was in myself, that I became more confidence and independent. Now I don't wait help from others

How do you see the future of your business?

I am really very optimistic I think my business will be expand, because  I'm planning to target new markets and districts not only in my village.

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