As a young girl, she loved sewing. As a refugee, it’s vital to survival.

Yara has loved sewing since she was a child.

“My mother taught me when I was a young girl and said it would always be a useful skill,” she said. “I never imagined that one day it would come to mean so much, and provide me with a small income.”

Yara had to flee her home in Syria and currently lives in Tripoli, Lebanon. She studied embroidery at a self-help group in Tripoli, Lebanon, run by Concern Worldwide. The nonprofit helps displaced people meet their basic needs. Yara attended their workshops for two hours a day, and was able to leave her younger children at a partner-run kindergarten.

“Embroidery is a new skill for me,” she said. “There is so much to learn and every day we do something different. The main thing is that it occupies my mind and it stops me from thinking too much. Using my hands and creating something beautiful calms me. The lady who teaches the embroidery class is like a mother figure for us.”

Yara has been living in Lebanon with her five children and husband for the past two years. Her parents and one of her sisters were a refugee camp in Jordan, and two sisters still in Syria.

“We were a close-knit family, but we had to flee Syria,” she explained. “I worry about them every day.”

Learn more about Concern Worldwide, which helps women like Yara rebuild their lives.

This is a story from GlobalGiving’s new Voices From The Crowd series.