Jasmine Project

A powerful journey from refugee to entrepreneur. 

Creating entrepreneurial women

Jasmine is umr's signature project aimed at empowering refugee women through specialized skills training to become sustainable, economically empowered change-makers.

About the Project

The Jasmine Project is a female-headed economic empowerment project that originated in Jordan as a solution to the compounding economic and refugee crisis. Upon being uprooted from the only home they had ever known, refugees are forced to restart their entire lives, usually in a country in which they don’t know a single person. They face constant hardships, such as the inability to find work or provide for their families. Most refugee camps lack access to healthcare and education and the homes in which families reside are often makeshift tents that can hardly withstand extreme weather. This initiative aims to empower women to become self-sustainable, so that they can support themselves and their families and not have to depend on limited humanitarian aid or government resources. UMR strives to give vulnerable communities the tools they need to rise above their situations and become active members of their communities.

learn about their journey

Jasmine is a registered women-led initiative in Jordan and Egypt, with plans to expand to Lebanon, Kenya, and Bangladesh. It was a concept born in 2014 by Ms. Lara Shahin, a Syrian refugee, who wanted to create an opportunity for herself and other women like her.

And thus, began this inspirational project!

Jasmine began with just 5 women and has now blossomed to reach 40 women in total. Through our Jasmine Project, UMR is helping refugee women develop their crafting, technical, marketing, and business development skills so that no matter where life takes them, they will always be able to earn an income. The Jasmine women are now able to sell their products both in local markets and internationally online. As Jasmine continues to grow, we are looking forward to expanding this project into different countries so we can help women all over the world.

Jasmine has trained over a thousand women in a multitude of handicrafts, including tailoring, creating organic soaps, cosmetics, and even face masks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jasmine targets women of all ages, focusing on refugees and other vulnerable communities and has secured employment for over 70 women since its beginnings. At the end of each training workshop course, a round session is facilitated between trainees to give them a chance to discuss legal issues they face on a daily basis and discuss problems and solutions. This form of community support is essential in helping them raise awareness on human rights and laws that affect them.

The overarching goal of Jasmine is to empower women economically and socially for self-sufficiency, employment growth, and social justice through innovative efforts.

As of December 2020, UMR has started training 50 women in Egypt, and will soon begin training in Kenya.

Voices of THE Survivors


Reflecting the women’s victory stage after fighting against violence with their own power and will.

The “Survivors” project aims at shedding light on all types of violence against women in society, specifically domestic violence, to help these women create their own path to success and recovery. Oftentimes, survivors of domestic violence, particularly women, find it very difficult to talk about to address their experiences. “Survivors” was born to complement the efforts and goals of the Jasmine initiative by supporting women’s rights to live a safe and independent life. One of the most impactful ways to do so is to empower women economically, socially and operationally; and this is what “Survivors” aims to achieve.
The United Nations General Assembly defines Violence Against Women as “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women.” The 32 participating women faced unspeakable violence resulting from war, partner violence, emotional abuse, harassment, physical violence, verbal use, and more. The women enrolled in “Survivors” have received intensive trainings via Jasmine on handmade product creation, financial planning, time management and marketing, and have used these newly learned skills to jump start their own businesses!
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