Story of Naja Dagher (2003)

Naja, a 40-year-old father of four, lives with his wife Laurette and four children Nadine, Elena, Gilbert, and Maribelle in Mrah El-Habbas village in the District of Jizzine, South Lebanon. In 1984, Naja survived a landmine blast that affected his life physically, psychologically, and economically. Eighteen years after the accident.

Naja became a beneficiary of the “Herb Cultivation Program” within the context of the Project “Expanding Economic Opportunities for Landmine Survivors in the District of Jizzine” implemented by the World Rehabilitation Fund (WRF) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Leahy War Victims Fund. Moreover, Naja became one of the first members of the Development Cooperative in Jizzine, the partner of WRF in this Project.

With continuous technical and material support from WRF, Naja succeeded in initiating and developing his own Herb Cultivation activity on a piece of land secured by him and his brothers near his house in Mrah El-Habbas. An in-kind grant from WRF allowed Naja to plant five thousand herb seedlings after preparing the land and installing an irrigation system. With evident success, Naja has become more involved in agriculture season after season. During the season of summer-autumn 2004, Naja harvested around 400 Kilograms of high-quality dried oregano, exceeding the harvest of any other Herb beneficiary since the initiation of the Project. This secured a seasonal income of more than US$ 2,650 to Naja and his family.

Today and after 3 years from receiving his grant from WRF, Naja expanded his involvement and investment in agriculture and established three green houses, where he planted organic tomatoes, cucumber, eggplants, and other vegetables. “I would have not been able to achieve what I have without the experience gained through the technical training program and the support I received from WRF and USAID”, says Naja gratefully. He will soon be fulfilling his dream of expanding his agricultural business by establishing four additional green houses through a loan from KAFALAT; thus, making use of the experience he has gained from the Project and investing the money he has earned from herb cultivation.

Naja says that, being a beneficiary in the Jizzine Project and a member in the Development Cooperative in Jizzine has given him a new hope in life. He added that his success in the Project has motivated him to dedicate all his and his family’s efforts and time in agriculture, which will secure a productive life for him and his family’.

Copyright 2014, World Rehabilitaion Fund