Huda carrying a tea tray at home in Jordan
Huda carrying a tea tray at home in Jordan

Making soaps fills my time and helps me to think creatively about things. My son has eczema so now I can make soaps by myself that are good for his skin”

Huda created a soap business from scratch in Jordan

Making soaps fills my time and helps me to think creatively about things. My son has eczema so now I can make soaps by myself that are good for his skin”

Huda created a soap business from scratch in Jordan

Before I made soap I was just at home alone bored and now I am busy and always learning new things..

Life in Syria

There were a lot of airstrikes every day. My son used to hide under the coffee table when the planes came.

On the day we left our village about one hundred people died in airstrikes that hit their houses. That’s why we decided to leave. I felt so sad that day. I cried a lot thinking that people were dying. One man lost four of his children in one day. Imagine that.

Oxfam

Burnt out cars and rubble on concrete

Jordan: A new start

Coming here was like having a new life. I spent my days in Syria inside the house. But when I came here I started taking courses on how to make soaps and jewellery and I really liked it.

Amy Christian/ Oxfam

Huda pours liquid soap into molds to set

Huda sells homemade soap on an online platform called SouqFann, run by one of Oxfam's local partners. SouqFann helps vulnerable artisans by providing them a space to sell their products online.

Making soap

I wanted to learn more, so I started watching YouTube tutorials from Saudi and Turkey to see how to make different types of soap. I experimented with the perfume of green tea and French flowers. I tried avocado and ginger. At the first market I sold fifteen soaps. After that some people called me on the phone and asked for two more packages. They especially liked the baby products.

Mostly people called me through word of mouth and through friends to make orders. I use natural oils, cacao and oats. They are the most popular ones.

Amy Christian/ Oxfam

How is Oxfam helping?

  • Oxfam has been working in Jordan since the early 1990s focusing on women’s access to justice and leadership
  • We work with local partners and allies to support families affected by conflict and war
  • We support community-led approaches to strengthen local business, focussing on women
  • At the heart of the work is skills-building, mentoring and coaching of youth and women across Jordan

Working with online social enterprise platform SouqFann

Huda sells homemade soap on an online platform called SouqFann, run by a local Oxfam partner Leaders of Tomorrow. SouqFann helps the most vulnerable artisans by providing them with this space to sell their products online.

My friend took pictures of the soaps I was making, and she showed them to someone who works in SouqFann and he told my friend that they wanted me to work with them.

I was very happy when I saw my soaps advertised online.

I was invited to the launch event for SouqFann and they talked about my soaps and how great the packages were. I was so proud. I sent my friends the link to the website. They were happy for me.

Someone from SouqFann comes here and collects the soap based on the number of orders they get. The first time they came they collected thirty bars of soap and they paid me the cash; that was in May. When I first started making soap I didn’t earn a lot but since I started selling them online I am earning more.

Making soaps fills my time and helps me to think creatively about things. My son has eczema so now I can make soaps by myself that are good for his skin. Making things that I like makes me happy. Before I made soap I was just at home alone bored and now I am busy and always learning new things. I read books on herbs and oils and soap making.

I would like to expand into making lotions and shampoos.

Amy Christian/ Oxfam

Soaps with bright roses on top