Community-Based Support Program
The Community-Based Support Program (CBSP) builds the capacity of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan to generate income while developing the skills to find employment if they return to Iraq or locate to a third country. CBSP responds to the economic vulnerability of Iraqi refugees by matching capacity building to economic opportunities, expanding markets for microenterprises started by vocational training graduates, and assisting graduates to obtain work permits, internships, and job placements.
CBSP has trained over 2,200 men in trades in high demand in Jordan, Iraq, and throughout the region, including carpentry, general maintenance, welding, automotive repair, catering and others. The courses conform to curriculum requirements of government-run vocational training programs in Jordan. Training is also offered to vulnerable Iraqi women in home food production and marketing. Women produce food products such as bakery sweets, savory finger foods, and pickled goods in their homes, and sell them in their neighborhoods and at local markets.
CBSP links trainees to catering kitchens in Amman and encourages the women to form cooperatives and gain business skills. To date, CBSP has trained over 600 women in home food production and marketing and linked many of them to numerous local marketing networks. Other training offered to women include sewing and embroidery courses. The sewing course introduces pattern-cutting and design, repairs, and basic sewing skills; the embroidery course teaches production techniques linked to souvenir production. Both teach skills needed to operate home-based businesses.
CBSP has identified over 500 graduates from both the vocational home food production and marketing trainings who showed the skill and motivation to start home-based businesses. In the early years of the program, graduates were provided with intensive entrepreneurship training, culminating in the development of their own business plans – and opportunities to implement them at an “open for business” sales event. CBSP is now providing 100 additional beneficiaries small business development training, focusing on local, home-based startups. By the end of the training, the students will have developed small business proposals. Those whose plans are best will be given grants to help launch the business idea.
CBSP is also working to increase employment opportunities for CBSP graduates by assisting them in the process of obtaining work permits as well as providing internship and job placement services.